Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nigerian President Yar'Adua Refuses Jonathan as Acting President

Yar’Adua refuses Jonathan as Acting President

Headlines Dec 29, 2009
By Leke Adeseri, News Editor & Ise-Oluwa Ige
Nigerian Vanguard

ABUJA—Political hawks have successfully convinced President Umaru Yar’Adua to endorse the Supplementary Budget to be operated till next March, and also worked on him not to sign another document to allow Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan act as President, Vanguard can authoritatively reveal.

The Supplementary Budget, according to sources, is to fast-track development in the Niger Delta, among other things.

Yar’Adua signed the document on his sick bed in the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

According to impeccable sources, the cabal that fashioned the documents eventually presented to the President by his Principal Secretary, Mr. David Edevbie, were said to be out to buy time towards the assumption that their principal will be strong enough to resume work fully in mid-January.

Another scheme seemingly on the cabals’ chess board is the arrangement that the out-going Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, swears in Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu as the new Chief Justice.

A statement by the Secretary of the National Judicial Council, Mr Danladi Halilu, confirmed that Kutigi will swear in Justice Katsina-Alu as the Chief Justice and Justice Isa Ayo-Salami as the President of the Court of Appeal on Thursday, December, 30.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), had, at the weekend said President Yar’Adua needed not fly from Saudi Arabia to perform the swearing-in by himself.

He had argued that the out-going CJN was permitted under the law to perform the function.

NJC had keyed into the explanation but Aondoakaa’s colleagues argued saying that his explanation has no basis in law and logic.

According to an Ibadan-based member of the Inner Bar, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN), it would be strange if such was allowed to happen because such arrangement is not supported by law and logic.

According to him: “The Attorney-General like most Nigerian public officers doesn’t have original thoughts of his own. They are not original in their thoughts. That position, with due respect, was not his own.

“The idea was sold by a lady lawyer. She sent an e-mail to Aondoakaa (SAN) to sell the idea. She forwarded the same e-mail to many of us, making that suggestion. I do not want to mention her name.

“The truth of the matter is that if you carry out that suggestion, you will be creating a kind of absurdity. Look at it this way: if the outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria will be swearing in the in-coming one, I ask: in what capacity?

‘If the incumbent swears in the in-coming one before he retires, the implication is that we will be having two CJNs at the same time.

“And, if the outgoing CJN swears in the in-coming one immediately after he retires, in what capacity will he be doing that when he is no longer CJN?

“They are confusing the American situation with ours. In the case of the Nigerian presidential system, the executive appoints the head of the court.

“It is a political appointment. And, necessarily so, CJN must be sworn in by the head of the executive. It is unlike the American situation where the entire public and members of the public are involved in who becomes CJN and even who becomes a Supreme Court justice.

‘Ours is a different scenario. Most of the times, our people swallow, hook, line and sinker the ideas of foreign governance without looking at the background and the position of the law in those areas.

“You will be creating a kind of unconscionable absurdity if you say the outgoing CJN should swear in the incoming one.

“The idea was suggested by a lady and the lady in question forwarded the e-mail she did to Aondoakaa to me.

“The lady flew a kite which was swallowed hook, line and sinker by the AGF.

“She sent it to many lawyers including Professor Sagay, Aturu, Femi Falana and the President of the NBA. He sent it to many senior lawyers.

“The Attorney-General was not original. The truth of the matter is that the country is mired in political quagmire.

“We have no head of the executive properly so-called. And, very soon, there will be no head of the judiciary. We can avoid this problem if Mr. President had done the right thing to allow Jonathan to stand in.”

Meantime, Halilu declared in the statement that the appointments were made by President Yar’Adua on the recommendation of NJC and that the swearing-in will hold at the Supreme Court complex at 11a.m.

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