A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday, declared that Vice President Jonathan Goodluck is empowered by the 1999 Constitution to exercise, in the absence of President Umaru Yar’Adua, all the powers vested in him, including signing of sensitive documents, so far such powers are delegated to him.
The presiding high court judge, Justice Dan Abutu made the pronouncement while interpreting the meanings and intendments of sections 5(1) and 148 (1) of the 1999 constitution in a suit brought by a lawyer, Mr. Christopher Onwuekwe.
Onwuekwe, in his suit, FHC/ABJ/CS/10/2010, had requested the high court to declare that in the absence of President Yar’Adua who is receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia, the Vice President, by virtue of the provisions of Section 5(1) and 148 (1) of the 1999 Constitution, could exercise all the powers vested in the President in the interest of peace, order and good governance pending when his boss, Yar’Adua, would resume office. He sued the Attorney General of the Federation and the Executive Council of the Federation.
He filed the suit last week and served the originating processes on the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation last Monday while judgment was delivered in the case yesterday by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court. If it is not the fastest case ever decided by the Nigerian judiciary, it must be one of the fastest because it took the court less than 96 working hours (four days) for the registry of the court to take all processes in the case, hear it on its merit and deliver judgment.