Edwin Clark, a former Federal Commissioner for Information and South South Leader, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, who is on a medical vacation in the United Kingdom, to, as a matter of urgency, hand over powers to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Addressing Journalists on Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at his Asokoro residence, Abuja, the Elder statesman described as illegal and unconstitutional President Buhari’s refusal to transmit powers to the Vice President, even as he asked why the President was afraid of handing over to his Vice who proved his competence while he acted as President in 2017, when he was out of the country for over 100 days.
Clark who noted that the administration had taken the country for granted because of the apparent docility of citizens, argued that it is a violation of Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) for the President to have gone on medical vacation without writing to the Senate and transmitting powers to Osinbajo to act in his stead.
He accused the President of ignoring Section 145 of the constitution which mandates him to handover to this Vice when he is traveling, adding that the President was importing foreign body into the nation’s constitution.
Clark, who is the leader of the Southern and Middle Belt Forum, SMBLF, noted that the argument that the Presidency had often relied on to the effect that transmitting powers to the Vice President is only necessary when the President has to be away for 21 days, is foreign to the Constitution.
He said: “The Constitution Section 145 is very clear, simple. There is no issue of 21 days and the President cannot import into the constitution what is not there.
“What Section 145 says, President shall transmits to the National Assembly, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, whenever he will be away on medical vacation and in his absence, the constitution empowers the Vice President to act the president. And the word ‘shall’ is used there.
“Where does Mr. President get that one (21 days) from? That one does not exist, except that’s another constitution. I am a lawyer.”