Osinbajo can be challenged in court for acting president role, says lawyer
An Abuja-based lawyer, Ferdinand Orbih (SAN) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari never transferred powers to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) going by his choice of words in his letter to the National Assembly.
He said any action therefore, taken by Osinbajo as Acting President could be successfully challenged in court because power, which only the president has the right to transfer to his vice never happened.
The President had written to the National Assembly intimating it of his desire to travel to the United Kingdom for medical reasons and stated that Osinbajo will coordinate affairs of government, which has generated a lot of controversy.
“The question that arises is; has there been an effective transfer of presidential powers to the Vice President as envisaged under the Constitution? The answer is, of course, no.
“The second question begging for answer is; was the letter seeking to transfer power to the Vice-President deliberately couched to describe him as ‘coordinator’ of government business? This question must again be answered in the affirmative.
“The reason is simple. When the President travelled the first time to the UK for medical treatment, power was transferred to Osinbajo without controversy. There was no shadow of doubt at all that we had an Acting President.
“Now, can the Vice President make himself Acting President when there has been no proper transfer of such powers to him by the President? Of course not,” Orbih said.
He also argued that not even the National Assembly can confer such status on Osinbajo unless it chooses to invoke the doctrine of necessity as it once did when the late President Musa Ya’Ardua took ill without transferring power to his Vice President.
He insisted that only the President was vested with powers under the constitution to transfer his powers to his vice by notifying the National Assembly in writing that he has done so.
“Any action taken by the Vice President while purportedly acting as President during this period can be the subject of successful legal challenge. The President has manifested a clear intention not to transfer full presidential powers to him in the present instance,” he added.