Breaking News: FEC Okays Yar’adua; Senate Directs him to send Vacation Letter

Breaking News: FEC Okays Yar’adua; Senate Directs him to send Vacation Letter – After todays session, the consensus among the Nigerian Senate is to give the President Umaru Yar’adua an ultimatum to write a letter of vacation to the National Assembly for the Vice President Jonathan Goodluck to act for him. 

The Senators agreed that though they lack the power under Section 144 of the Constitution to direct the FEC to determine the president’s ability to perform his duties given his poor health, they would rely on Section 88 of the 1999 Constitution, which gives the National Assembly powers of investigation into matters under its jurisdiction.

“We urge President Yar’Adua to formally notify the national assembly of his medical vacation as demanded by the constitution,” David Mark said at the end of a two-day debate on the president’s health. 

Meanwhile, the executive council of the Federation insists that the president is fit to continue is office. The Council says that the fact the President Umaru Yar’adua is receiving medical treatment abroad to does not constitute incapacity to warrant the invocation of Section 144 of the Constitution.

In his address to newsmen, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Mr Michael Aondoakaa said the meeting held Today is in obedience to the judgment of the Abuja High Court on Sections 5 and 148 of the 1999 Constitution.

Justice Abutu had given the Executive Council of the Federation 14 days to decide whether President Yar’adua is incapacitated to continue as president. 

On the other hand, The Senate says the President should comply with Section 145 and they also proposed amendment to Section 145 of the Constitution to resolve the apparent flaws exposed by the present circumstances. 

A source said: “The Senators have agreed that the only option for the president is to transmit a letter to the National Assembly. There were attempts to stop the matter but senators insisted that the minimum is for the president to transmit a letter of vacation to the National Assembly to enable Jonathan Goodluck act as president”. 

Yar’Adua has been in the Saudi port of Jeddah since November receiving treatment for a heart condition but has not formally transferred power to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, triggering debate over the legality of government decisions. 

Meanwhile, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) said notwithstanding the long absence from the country for medical treatment in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Yar’Adua was capable of discharging the functions of his office.

The resolution, titled ‘Resolution by the Executive Council of the Federation’ read: “Council at its (2010) 4th executive council meeting of today January, 27 acting pursuant to the order of the court unanimously passed a resolution and declared as follows: i.) that the President is not incapable of discharging the functions of his office and ii.) that the medical treatment outside the country does not constitute incapacity to warrant or commence the process of the removal of the President from office, under Sections 144 and 146 of the_1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”