Human rights activist and lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa said President Muhammadu Buhari is entitled to 60 days annual leave
– He noted that as long as the president has not exhausted the leave, the controversy over his absence is not necessary
– He however urged the National Assembly to step in when the need arises
Human rights activist and lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has said President Muhammadu Buhari can stay away from office for 60 days because he is entitled to it.
According to Adegboruwa, the president is entitled to 60 days annual leave from 2015 to 2016, adding that if he has not exhausted this leave prior to this time, he is entitled to his annual vacation.
“But I am aware that the president has in times past, enjoyed part of his annual leave, in 2016, when he first travelled for alleged ear infection,’” he told The Guardian.
He noted that Buhari has not disclosed to Nigerians that he is on annual leave, adding that the president converted his annual leave to medical leave, which is now indefinite.
He therefore advised the Senate not to allow the president such indefinite period of leave, given the sensitive nature of his office.
His words: “Once it is impossible to determine definitively, the period of days to be spent by the president, whether on annual vacation or medical vacation, what that translates to in law is that the president has given indication of his inability to perform the functions of his office, leaving Nigerians with no other choice than to replace him immediately, with the acting president as the substantive president.
“It is indeed very unfortunate that the president is ill and we cannot grudge him the right to have his treatment, as no one can play God in the area of illness.
“But if the illness of the president is of such a nature as to make it impossible for him to perform the functions of his office, then there cannot be a vacuum in that office. The fact that there is an Aacting president will not suffice.
“A president of a sovereign state as Nigeria cannot be allowed to abscond his duty post under the guise of medical vacation. In this case, the president has turned himself into some form of tourist attraction, whereby, he has turned his abode into an alternative government house, where who-is-who in Nigeria now troop to, giving room for speculations and vacuum in governance.
“If by the end of February 2017, the president is unable, for reason of ill health, to resume his normal duties as president, then the Senate should proceed to invoke the provisions of section 144 of the constitution to declare his seat vacant, so that the Vice President will officially step into the position of president.
“This is because we cannot afford the Yaradua scenario again in this country, whereby; those who were not elected into office by the people of Nigeria are the ones to be ruling us by proxy, on account of the prolonged absence of the president.”
President Buhari has been in London since January 19. The presidency had first announced that he was there for a 10-day leave. But he has since extended the leave on medical grounds.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has dismissed some rumours that it is contemplating using theHouse of Representatives has dismissed some rumours that it is contemplating using the ‘doctrine of necessity’ to remove President Buhari from office.
The position of the green chamber was made known by its spokesman, Honourable Abdulrazaq Namdas on Wednesday, February 22.
The National Assembly had on February 9, 2010 invoked the ‘doctrine of necessity’ to empower then vice president, Goodluck Jonathan to act as president following the illness of late President Umaru Yar’Adua.