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Controversy Over Osinbajo’s Status, A Needless Distraction – FG

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By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah,

The federal government has described the controversy that followed President Muhammadu Buhari ‘s letter to the National Assembly on the status of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo  as a needless distraction.

The position of the government was made known by the minister of

Information, Lai Mohammed after the Federal Executive Council meeting yesterday, presided over by Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa.

“I think it is a needless controversy and just a distraction. The operative sentence is in compliance with section 145 subsection (1) so any other word is irrelevant,” Mohammed said.

LEADERSHIP recalls that On Tuesday , the Senate affirmed that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is the acting president of Nigeria pending the  return of President  Buhari from his medical trip to London.

After reading the letter dated May 5, 2017 during the plenary,

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, noted that its transmission to the Senate was in accordance with Section 145(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

The content of the letter sparked debate on the floor of the Red

Chamber, with some lawmakers raising objection to the tone of the letter which described Osinbajo as coordinator of activities of government.

The president wrote: “In compliance with section 145 {1) of the 1999 constitution as amended. I wish to inform the distinguished Senate that I will be away for a scheduled medical follow-up with my doctors in London. The length of my stay will be determined by the doctor’s advice.

“While I am away, the vice president will coordinate the activities of the government. Please accept the distinguished Senate President the assurances of my highest consideration”.

But Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP Abia North) raised a point of order, faulting Buhari’s letter for not categorically designating the vice president as acting president in his absence as stated in section 145 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

He said the status of coordinator of economic activities does not

exist in the constitution and therefore should not have come up in the president’s letter while urging the Senate to reject the letter.

But Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, quickly countered Ohuabunwa, saying that the wordings used in the president’s letter should be ignored and the intention accepted based on the provisions of section 145 of the constitution, which the letter is predicated on.

The Senate president concurred to Lawan’s submission and consequently ruled Ohuabunwa out of order by declaring thus: “I think it is a very clear issue and what we should be guided by is the constitution and Ithink that it is clear. The letter has referred to the constitution and there’s no ambiguity in the constitution. So, I don’t think there  is any issue there. I hereby rule Senator Ohuabunwa out of order.”

 

 

 

 

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