A legal practitioner based in Lagos, Mr. Ikechukwu Ikeji has cited reasons why President Buhari can decide to stay away from work until 2019 without being affected by the law.
Speaking to the Sun, Ikeji pointed out that the President did not go against the constitution for staying away on medical vacation for over 100 days.
He said; “His absence has created a lot of vacuum in the governance infrastructure and architecture of Nigeria. When Late President Umaru Yar’Adua was in this kind of situation, Buhari was the first to call for his resignation. But, I’m not saying Buhari should resign, I’m instead saying that those in charge of his health should tell us what he is suffering from.
Buhari has not done anything that is against the law, there is no constitutional breach, but morally speaking in terms of governance can we say it is the best thing? There ought to be transparency. Unfortunately, the body that has the power to tell us his health status, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), are his appointees. It will be difficult for them to say that their principal is no longer healthy to rule. Saying he is not healthy to rule is saying that they, the appointees want to leave their jobs. That is the irony of our constitution and I suggest that the section of the Constitution that allows the FEC to be the ones to say the President is permanently incapacitated to trigger the need for the Senate President to appoint a 7-man medical panel be amended. The constitution amendment should have removed the power from the FEC and transferred it to an independent body.
Another part of the constitution that needs to be amended in terms of what we are experiencing with President Buhari’s health is the time frame within which the letter transmitted to the National Assembly that the president will be away will elapse. There should be a cut-off time; as it is today, there is no law the President has broken because the law permits him to even stay away till May 28, 2019.
There is a vacuum in the presidency. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is the acting President, but he cannot do certain things. That is why he traveled to London recently to see Buhari, perhaps on some issues, to find out what Buhari wants to do. If there is no vacuum, the acting President need not travel to London”.