On the 23rd of November, 2009, President Musa Yar’Adua left Nigeria for treatment abroad in an undisclosed country. For the next 80 days, nobody heard from or saw the federal republic of Nigeria. Even the vice-president, Goodluck Jonathan, could not give any reasonable report of the president’s whereabouts. The activities of the federal executive council became suddenly shrouded and ambiguous. As expected, question about the whereabouts and status of the president began to fly at the national assembly, the judiciary and the federal executive council.
The attendant issues that emanated from this situation led to a very tensed period of fierce constitutional arguments by different quarters, especially from legal practitioners, scholars, authors and most especially, the media who put up quite a show fielding all sorts of rumors and speculations.
The purpose of this thesis therefore, is to critically appraise the all the constitutional issues that emanated from the Yar’Adua’s saga. In view of this, the office of the president would be critically examined, together with his powers and obligations in relation to section 144 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. Also, the obligation of the Federal Executive Council, the National Assembly and the Judiciary would be examined too.
This thesis is a study of the provisions of section 144 of the constitution of Nigeria, especially in relation to the events that occurred during the period of President Yar’Adua’s illness. President Yar’Adua became the president of Nigeria in 2007. Before then, he was governor; he was the governor of Katsina State. He emerged president in the 2007 elections.
While he was governor, he usually took trips outside the country due to his health. After he became president, the trips continued. During the protracted period of illness in 2009, it was revealed that the president had a condition known as pericarditis. This is the inflammation of the pericardium, the membrane, or sack that surrounds the heart.Acute pericarditis is usually the result of a viral, fungal, or bacterial infection, although other diseases, such as chronic kidney failure, also may be the cause.
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