Femi Falana and other Senior Advocates have reacted to increasing calls for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari, as they declared that there is no time limit for his return, according to the constitution, Daily Trust reports.
According to Falana, the constitution is silent on how long Buhari can be away from the country on medical vacation.
He stated: “As at the time the constitution was amended in 2010, it took cognizance of the president leaving the country without handing over; hence, the constitution was amended compelling the president to transmit a letter to the National Assembly.
“And once he does that, the vice president shall automatically become the acting president.
“If he does not transmit a letter after 21 days, the vice president shall automatically become the president, ditto for the states.
“But as to the duration the president can be absent, the constitution is silent.
“So it is therefore hoped that the ongoing review of the constitution will address that because you may have a situation where an elected president will be away for three and half years out of his four years tenure or even the entire four years tenure.
“It is a possibility.”
However, Falana stated that a resolution stating that Buhari can no longer discharge his duties to the country, can be passed by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
According to Falana, once that is done, the president’s medical condition will be examined by a team of 5 medical doctors; and he would be made to resign if the team finds that he can no longer function as president.
Lending his voice to the debate also, another Senior Advocate Yusuf Ali, reiterated that the constitution does not provide for any action to be taken if the president is absent for 90 days.
According to Ali, “once he (the president) transmits the letter to the National Assembly, the country will have an acting president.”
Tawo Eja Tawo, another SAN based in Abuja, stated that following the transmission of the letter of vacation to the National Assembly, the office of the president cannot be said to be vacant.
He said: “The only time the Constitution envisages 90 days is when the president and vice president are incapacitated.
“Then the senate president would now act for 90 days and election will be conducted.”
However, another Senior Advocate Abeny Mohammed, stated that the acting president is being hampered in his actions as he does not wield full power, and must seek clearance for all executive actions.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the Organization of Concerned Nigerians on Monday, August 7, converged at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, urging the president to either resume duty or resign.
The group said it will march to the Presidential Villa to demand the resignation of the president.