Thursday, April 27, 2017

Buhari Can Even Work From The Toilet – Lawyers

As reactions continue to greet President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to work from the house, some Nigerian lawyers have stated that there was nothing wrong with his action.

Buhari was absent from a meeting of the Federal Executive Council inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday, a development that triggered nationwide debate.

However, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed had while explaining the reason for Buhari’s absent said the President will “now operate from home.”

In a statement, Mohammed said the President only decided to work from home on Wednesday, not that he had decided to work from home henceforth.

The minister said, “He (the President) wanted to rest today and he asked the VP to preside over today’s meeting.

“In addition, he also asked that all his files be taken home to him and he will be working from home today.’’

The Civil Liberty Organisation, CLO, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, while reacting, called on the president to resign.

However, some lawyers, who spoke exclusively with DAILY POST on Thursday, said the President can work from anywhere, including the toilet.

According them, the constitution does not enforce the president to report at the office everyday.

Speaking with our reporter on phone, human right activist and Abuja-based lawyer, Bar Paul Edeh said Buhari’s decision is constitutional.

“What Nigerians should be debating on now is not where the president is working from but his capacity to lead. As far as I am concerned, the president can rule from anywhere, even from the toilet or aircraft, he remains our president.

“Are we saying that Buhari could only be addressed as president in his office? I think what Nigerians should be talking about now is if he has the capacity to lead.

“The constitution does not enforce the president to sign daily attendance roaster in his office. What if he travels out of the country, won’t he still remain our president?

“His coming to the office is a true test to the fact that he is okay but not a must. The reason he operates from home is because he is sick and anybody could fall sick.

“I think what we need to do now is to ask some medical experts to tell us if the president is still strong enough to lead. And the president equally needs to own up on his health status if he still has the power to lead or hand over to his Vice, Osinbajo,” Edeh said.

On his part, ace lawyer, Barrister Mike Awoniyi said the hullabaloo over Buhari’s decision to work from home is needless.

According to him, there is no where in the constitution that says the president should report at his office on daily basis.

“I think the noise about Buhari’s decision to work from home is needless because he has not committed any crime. He can work from anywhere as long as he is still alive and has not told anybody he is no longer active. Those calling for his impeachment or resignation should show us the section of the scripture that says the president must sign daily register in his office.

“We Nigerians love making mountains of molehills,” the Lagos-based lawyer told DAILY POST on phone.

On his part, Benue-born lawyer, Barrister Akor Ikwuoche also agreed with his colleagues that the president can work from anywhere.

He said, “To the best of my knowledge, it is not an impeachable offence. He can even operate from his hometown in Daura. It depends on where he chooses to stay and discharge his duty as the nation’s number one man.

“There is nothing unconstitutional about his decision. The only area Nigerians should look at is whether the president still has the mental capacity to perform his duty.

“This can only be done by medical experts headed by his chief physician. People should put pressure on him to open up on his health status and not calling for his resignation or impeachment.”

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