Indications may be rife on Tuesday (as reported by the media), that the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, risks being impeached by the Senate if the Presidency fails to carry out the decisions of the Senate. The Senate has asked him to as a matter of urgency to withdraw his statement that the National Assembly lacks the powers to confirm nominations from the President.
The Senate (one-half of the legislative branch) has vowed to suspend all issues relating to confirmations from the Presidency (executive branch) until such matters of confirmation as contained in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) were strictly adhered to. The Red Chamber urged the Acting President to respect the constitution of the land.
Resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a point of Order raised by Senator Ahmed Sani, (APC Zamfara West) over a letter from Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on the appointment of Lanre Gbajabiamila as the Director General, National Lottery Commission. Soon after Senate President Bukola Saraki read the letter from the Acting President, Senator Ahned Sani raised the point of Order which later generated hot debate from other Senators.
The issue of impeachment is a rare constitutional or political occurrence in Nigeria, or indeed, in other democracies of the world, including the bastion of modern democracy – the United States of America, simply because the procedures and/or processes and guidelines guiding the implementation of its constitutionality is awesome and must be strictly observed. However, to impeach an Acting President? An Acting President that his boss, the President, is on medical vacation, recuperating from illness? Who may come back anytime to take back his presidential powers? This will be interesting to observe.
It will be relevant and pertinent in this report, to postulate and state, that the Nigerian Constitution has no provision for the impeachment of an Acting President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Tenets of the said Constitution is silent, or at most, did not envisage or contemplate the probability of an Acting President on a collision course with the National Assembly or one of its chambers – for that matter.
The crux of the matter is that Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, GCON, has been ordered by the Senate to withdraw the statement on the powers of confirmation of presidential appointments, or be impeached! This is not likely! Impeachment is serious business!!