ACTING PRESIDENT: A COUP IN DISGUISE-NAP
As controversies contrinue to trail the long absence of President Umaru Yar'Adua, the Nigeria Advance Party (NAP) has described the National Assembly's resolution that empowered Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to be Acting President, as a coup in disguise.In a statement signed by its deputy national chairman, Rev. John Nwobodo and made available to newsmen in Enugu, NAP insisted that the action of the Senate and the House of Representatives was tantamount to a coup and a clear breach of Section 1(2) of the 1999 Constitution."Their conspiratcy also in clear breach of Section 41 of the criminal code Act Cap C38 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 which forbids the removal otherwise by a constitutional means the President as Head of State of the Federation and Commander in Chief of the armed forces during his term of office." NAP maintained.The reliance by the lawakers on the telephone interview granted by the President on the BBC, according to NAP, was unfounded and baseless and did not in any way satisfy the provisions of Section 145 of 1999 Constitution, adding that the reference by the Senate President to the doctrine of necessity was incapable."And in fact the correct position both in law and in fact were that the resolution of the National Assembly was illegal, unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect" the statement stated further. The party maintained that the Vice President, having assumed the position of the President through extra- constitutional means was tantamount to a coup, maintaining that the Vice President cannot validly act as president without compliance with Section 145 of the constitution.NAP insisted that no person howsoever designated can take over the functions of the president unless or until the president was either impeached or declared incapable of discharging the functions of his office by the Executive Council or "he transmits a written declaration to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of representatives in accordance with Sections 143, 144 and 145""The crisis revolves around the failure of the President to transmit a written declaration. Put ill health aside, the President ought to know that the interest of the nation is paramount and that his failure to comply with the constitution may endanger the unity of this nation and make nonsense of the gains already savoured from the ten year old democracy. This failure has put snag on the integrity of Mr. President and his rule of law mantra," the party stressed.According to NAP, the only way out of the" logjam was for the Federal Executive council to invoke section 144 of the constitution in the absence of a written declaration, calling on the National Assembly to rescind its resolution and all actors to respect the spirit of the constitution.
Written by From Nnamdi Mbawike,
LEADERSHIP NIGERIA Enugu
Sunday, 14 February 2010 07:28