Nothing will happen if Buhari stays in London till 2019 – Clark


UNLESS the Senate reviews
provisions of Section 145 of the
1999 Constitution, President
Muhammadu Buhari can remain
in London “till the end of his
tenure and nothing will happen.”
This was according to a Senior
Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Robert
Clark, who said this yesterday
during a television programme,
Sunday Politics, on Channels
Television.
According provisions of Section
145 of the 1999 Constitution,
“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.”
Clark, who noted that Nigeria`s
1963 constitution remained the
best, said the loopholes in the 1999
constitution made it difficult for
the country to replace the ailing
president even if he decides to
remain in London for the rest of
his tenure.
He said, “The funny thing
about Nigeria is that we never
learn from our previous mistakes.
During the case of Yar’adua when
he was so sick that he could not
come back, instead of going to the
constitution and seeing what it
says, we started talking about the
doctrine of necessity.
“That doctrine should only
apply to a cabinet system, not to
the presidential system; where
everything has already been spelt
out in the constitution”.
“That section 145 says that
unless the president himself sends
a contrary statement; you cannot
do anything; that is the lacuna.
Buhari can stay till the end of his
tenure; nothing will happen,” Mr.
Clark said.
“Amendments are only
sponsored because it will help the
senators’ parties, their regions or
themselves. So you find out that
many of these amendments are
not necessary.
“What is necessary is that we all
realise that the 1999 constitution
was imposed on us and it is a
rotten constitution. No amount
of amendment will make it
workable.
“The 1999 constitution is a rotten
egg in Nigeria; it is a constitution
that has allowed the public
officers to enrich themselves.
Whichever way it happens, we
need to change the constitution,
not to revive it,” he said.
“The 1963 constitution is the
best constitution Nigeria has ever
had. All what we are talking about
today that needs amendment;
they are all in that constitution.”
The senior lawyer further urged
the Buhari administration to
“listen to the plight of the people”
and create another confab as the
one created by the Goodluck
Jonathan is “without a legal
framework for the implementation
of the recommendations of the
constitution.”
“Let him listen to the people,
let God direct him to act; the front
burner in our national discuss
is the talk about devolution, or
restructuring.

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