Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu said Buhari’s absence becomes unconstitutional only when it extends to 21 days.
Two days after President Muhammadu Buhari embarked on a 10-day private visit to the United Kingdom, the presidency has on Saturday, April 27, 2019, said that the president can govern the country from anywhere in the world.
The presidency said Buhari did not need to inform the National Assembly, so long as his absence was for a short period, adding that the president while in the UK could exercise authority as the President since his absence would only last for 10 days and not up to 21 days.
Responding to an inquiry by Punch on Buhari’s visit to the UK, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu defended the president with Section 145 (1)(2) of the 1999 Constitution saying “ 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 upon when such absence extends to 21 days.”
According to Punch, when asked why the President did not inform the National Assembly of his trip, Shehu replied that it was not necessary.
President Muhammadu Buhari left Nigeria for the United Kingdom on Thursday, April 25, 2019.
However, as of Saturday, April 27, 2019, it hasn’t been confirmed if the president informed the legislature about his trip.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Mr. Umar el-Yakub and The SSA on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang have reportedly been contacted and both of them didn’t confirm any transmission of the letter from the president to the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus has criticized Buhari’s 10-day private visit to the United Kingdom, saying he has embarked on “voyage unknown”.
Speaking during a media briefing on the state of the nation on Friday, April 26, 2019, Secondus said it is condemnable that the president left the country without informing the National Assembly and also didn’t hand over power to the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.