By Ise-Oluwa Ige

ABUJA—The Chief Judge of the Federal high court, Justice Dan Abutu is expected to commence hearing, this morning, in a fresh suit by an Abuja based lawyer, Mr Christopher Onwuekwe, pushing for an order compelling Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan to begin the performance of presidential function, following the ill-health of his boss, President Umaru Yar’’Adua.

Yar’’Adua has been away from the country for more than 50 days as at yesterday to received medical attention over an ailment diagnosed as acute pericarditis without handing over or getting across to over 150 million Nigerians he governs.

His absence from the country without compliance with either section 144 and 145 of the 1999 constitution had not only heated up the polity but had also generated a chain of constitutional crises.

Onwuekwe who lately joined the long-list of lawyers and politicians seeking to de-robe President Yar’’Adua on account of his ill-health said the near anarchic situation created by Yar’Adua’s absence from his duty post must stop.

Mr Amobi Nzelu is the lawyer prosecuting the case on behalf of his client.

He said since President Yar’Adua has not written any letter to the Senate and the House of Representatives, informing them that his Vice should oversee the affairs of the state pending his return, a convenient way out of the woods would be for the court to make an order empowering Goodluck Jonathan to exercise the powers of Yar’Adua pending his return to office.

Onwuekwe approached the court by a way of originating summons, meaning that the case, ordinarily should not drag unnecessarily.

In the suit with registration number FHC/ABJ/CS/2010, he is asking the court for the following reliefs:

“A Declaration that by the combined provisions of sections 5 (1) and 148 (1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, the Vice President can exercise the powers vested in the president in the absence of the president having regard to the circumstances of this suit.

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