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It’s rubbish to say Buhari won’t return on May 5 –Presidency



The Presidency has dismissed suggestions  President Muhammadu Buhari is undergoing medical treatment in the United Kingdom and may not return on May 5 as originally scheduled.

The President embarked on a 10-day private visit to the UK on April 25, saying he would return to the country on May 5.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, reacted on Friday when Saturday PUNCH sought views on the issue.

“It is rubbish,” he said.

In another separate electronic mail, Shehu said, “This story on the President’s return is absolutely shameful and disgraceful.

 “(It is) disgusting.”

However,  he  did not give additional information on the Buhari’s  trip.

Earlier on, Saturday PUNCH sought to know whether the President funded the trip from his pocket or the Federal Government did, since it was a private visit.

The paper didn’t get responses to the questions, which were asked twice.

Concerns have been raised since April 25 on why Buhari did not write the National Assembly to formally transmit power to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to act as President while he is away in compliance with Section 145(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution.

The law provides in 145 (1)(2), “Whenever the President is proceeding on vacation or is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, he shall transmit a written declaration to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to that effect, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, the Vice-President shall perform the functions of the President as Acting President.”

Buhari did not comply with the provision.

But, the Presidency defended him, saying  so long as he would not stay in London for 21 days or more, no constitutional breach had taken place yet.

Shehu insisted it was not necessary for Buhari to write the National Assembly.

He  said,  “No, that is not necessary.

“The President can exercise authority from wherever he is as he is currently doing.

“This is a relatively short absence. If you check Section 145(1) and (2) of the constitution, you will see that the law is only infringed when such absence extends to 21 days.”


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