May 21, 2024

Lawyer Sues Buhari, National Assembly over Constitutionality of Medical Trips; Seeks Transfer of Presidential Power to Vice President when Traveling Overseas

Vincent Adodo seeks the interpretation of given sections of the Constitution and the National Health Act in relation to President Muhammadu Buhari’s routine medical trips

An Abuja based lawyer and notary public, Vincent Adodo, has approached the Federal High Court, Abuja seeking judicial interpretation of section 145 (1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and section 46 of the National Health Act, 2014.

In the Originating Summons marked as SUIT NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/2138/2022, the plaintiff is seeking among others declaratory orders of the court that it is unlawful, unconstitutional and contrary to national interest for President Muhammadu Buhari to proceed on medical vacation and/or tourism without transmitting a written declaration to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives
as mandatorily required by section 145 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended).

In seeking the interpretation of section 46 of the National Health Act 2014, the plaintiff is praying for a declaration that as a public officer in the Government of the Federation whose medical needs are sponsored by tax payers funds, President Buhari cannot seek medical investigation, check-up or treatment abroad unless in exceptional cases verified by a referral or recommendation made by the medical board under section 46 of the National Health Act 2014.

Furthermore, the lawyer is seeking a declaratory order that the Senate President and Speaker of House of Representatives must invoke the provisions of section 145 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) to mandate the Vice President to perform the functions of the President immediately he travels out of the country on vacation or becomes otherwise unable to perform the functions of his office.

The lawyer is also praying for an order of mandatory injunction to compel the Senate President, Speaker, House of Representatives and the National Assembly to invoke the provisions of section 145 (2) of the Constitution to mandate the Vice President to perform the functions of the President immediately he travels on vacation or otherwise becomes unable to discharge the functions of his office.

Also included in the prayers of the plaintiff is an order of perpetual injunction restraining the President from seeking medical investigation, check-up or treatment abroad without complying with section 46 of the National Health Act 2014.

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; the Vice President, President of the Senate; Speaker, House of Representatives; Honourable Minister of Health and the Attorney General of the Federation are defendants.

The suit which has been assigned to Hon. Justice J.K. Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Abuja is slated for hearing on the 3rd February 2022.


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