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What The Nigerian Constitution Says When President Is Incapacitated


Rumours have been rife that President Muhammadu Buhari had died in the United Kingdom where he is on a ten-day vacation. But the Presidency and the minister of information have disproved such information and stated that the president is fine. Even with repeated claims, many people have continued to peddle the rumours on the Internet, often, without evidence to back up their claims.

Many of the people spreading the mischievous rumours have never even read the Nigerian constitution.

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THE CONSTITUTION

This is what the constitution of Nigeria says in case the President is unable to to perform his duties.

The President or Vice-President shall cease to hold office, if –

(a) by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of all the members of the executive council of the Federation it is declared that the President or Vice-President is incapable of discharging the functions of his office; and

(b) the declaration is verified, after such medical examination as may be necessary, by a medical panel established under subsection (4) of this section in its report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(2) Where the medical panel certifies in the report that in its opinion the President or Vice-President is suffering from such infirmity of body or mind as renders him permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office, a notice thereof signed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation.

(3) The President or Vice-President shall cease to hold office as from the date of publication of the notice of the medical report pursuant to subsection (2) of this section.

(4) the medical panel to which this section relates shall be appointed by the President of the Senate, and shall comprise five medical practitioners in Nigeria:-

(a) one of whom shall be the personal physician of the holder of the office concerned; and

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(b) four other medical practitioners who have, in the opinion of the President of the Senate, attained a high degree of eminence in the field of medicine relative to the nature of the examination to be conducted in accordance with the foregoing provisions.

(5) In this section, the reference to “executive council of the Federation” is a reference to the body of Ministers of the Government of the Federation, howsoever called, established by the President and charged with such responsibilities for the functions of government as the President may direct.

145. 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.

146. (1) The Vice-President shall hold the office of President if the office of President becomes vacant by reason of death or resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or the removal of the President from office for any other reason in accordance with section 143 of this Constitution.

(2) Where any vacancy occurs in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) of this section during a period when the office of Vice-President is also vacant, the President of the Senate shall hold the office of President for a period of not more than three months, during which there shall be an election of a new President, who shall hold office for the unexpired term of office of the last holder of the office.

(3) Where the office of Vice-President becomes vacant:-

(a) by reason of death or resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or removal in accordance with section 143 or 144 of this Constitution;

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Simon Ateba | Washington DC
Simon Ateba | Washington DC
Born in a small village in Cameroon, groomed in Nigeria's most populous city of Lagos, and now in Washington D.C. to practice journalism at a global level, Simon is an investigative journalist and publisher of TODAY NEWS AFRICA, USA based in Washington DC

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