Jonathan: National Assembly’s Resolution Ille
The attention of the Human Rights, Justice and Peace Foundation (HRJPF) has been drawn to the resolution by the Senate and House of Representatives, empowering Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to discharge the functions of the office of the President and Commander –in- Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as Acting President.
Although the HRJPF is not averse to the emergence of Jonathan as Acting President, it is its studied opinion that the National Assembly erred in its resolution, which was planked upon a mere media broadcast on the British Broadcasting Corporation by ailing President Yar'adua.
The position of the law is clear on how the Vice President should emerge as the Acting
President. Section 145 of the Constitution of the Republic of Nigeria, 1999, states: “Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President.”
And since due process of the law was not followed in making Jonathan the Acting President, it would not only be wrong to label him an illegitimate Acting President but also to describe the National Assembly as a congregation of ignorant anarchists.
Accordingly, the HRJPF demands as follows:i. The immediate resignation of the President of the Senate, David Mark, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole for attempting to legalize illegality; andii. The return to the status quo ante by Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, pending the compliance with the provision of the Constitution of the land.Otherwise, the HRJPF shall not hesitate to proceed to a court of law to ventilate its grievances.
Comrade Chidi Nwosu