National Chairman of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contract Bill in London because of national interest.
The APC leader made this comment in the wake of criticism of President Buhari, who is on a private visit to London, for not handing over power to his vice, Yemi Osinbajo.
Speaking when he led members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling party on a visit to Senate President Ahmad Lawan and principal officers of the Senate on Tuesday, Oshiomhole said: “I was also excited to see Mr President sign the Bill in London. Again, a couple of implication on this.
“That like you (the Senate), the President recognised that if you can manage it as quickly as you did and come out with such fundamental amendment that has such enormous impact on our national revenue, he, as President also has to do the needful.
“I think by signing the Bill into law at the Nigerian House in London, it shows that where the President is, he is Presiding over Nigeria and with the benefit of modern technology. We have passed the Mongo Park era.
“So, signing it in London for me has also made several statements. Namely, that wherever national interest is involved, the President is on duty and wherever he is he is presiding.
“I also salute his assenting to the Bill as fast as he did.”
Naijaparry understands that Buhari, until this year, had handed over power to Osinbajo anytime he was travelling out of Nigeria for unofficial functions.
This news medium had observed that the Nigerian leader did not hand over power to Osinbajo when he travelled to the United Kingdom on a private visit from April 25 to May 5, 2019.
What does the country’s Constitution say about this?
The Nigerian 1999 Constitution provides in Section 145 (1) that “Whenever the President is proceeding on vacation or is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, he shall transmit a written declaration to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to that effect, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, the Vice-President shall perform the functions of the President as acting President.”
Subsection two (2) of the Constitution read: “In the event that the President is unable or fails to transmit the written declaration mentioned in subsection (1) of this section within 21 days, the National Assembly shall, by a resolution made by a simple majority of the vote of each House of the National Assembly, mandate the Vice-President to perform the functions of the office of the President as acting President until the President transmits a letter to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives that he is now available to resume his functions as President.”
What this means is that the president only needs to hand over power to Osinbajo when he (Buhari) is proceeding on leave or going to be out of Nigeria for more than 21 days.