News / Africa

Nigerian Court, Parliament Set to Deliberate on Leadership Crisis

The Nigerian Bar Association, a prominent human rights lawyer and a former lawmaker have filed separate suits seeking recognition for Vice President Goodluck Jonathan as acting president, given President Umaru Yar'Adua's six-week absence because of ill health.

Nigerian President Uamru Yar'Adua (file photo)
Nigerian President Uamru Yar'Adua (file photo)

Multimedia

Audio

A federal court in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, will hold hearings this week on three lawsuits seeking to compel ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua to transfer powers to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan.  The parliament also plans to discuss the president's illness when it resumes this week. 

The Nigerian Bar Association, a prominent human rights lawyer and a former lawmaker have filed separate suits seeking recognition for Vice President Goodluck Jonathan as acting president, given Mr.Yar'Adua's six-week absence because of ill health.

Nigeria's constitution states the president should write to both houses of parliament if he is leaving on holidays or otherwise unable to govern, and that the vice president should take over until he writes to the contrary.

The 58-year-old leader was flown to a clinic in Saudi Arabia in late November without formally notifying the parliament.  Nigeria Bar Association President Rotimi Akeredolu says the group is wants to resolve the current leadership crisis.

"There is no other body that should be more concerned than the Nigerian Bar Association about constitutionality and that is why we are in court," he said. "We are in court to see that our constitution is obeyed to the letters."

The government is facing growing pressure to provide concrete evidence that Mr.Yar'Adua is fit enough to govern Africa's most populous nation.

Officials have said the president is responding to treatment for a heart condition, and does not suffer from an infirmity that would render him permanently incapable of discharging his functions.

Information minister Dora Akunyili told reporters Vice President Jonathan informed a cabinet meeting last week that he had a telephone conversation with President Yar'Adua.

"The vice president told us in council that he spoke with Mr. President briefly at about 8 pm, yesterday," he said. "This is the only information I have."

But critics say government assurances are not enough and that further disclosure about Mr.Yar'Adua's health was needed.

Some political analysts warn the Nigerian president's death or even a further deterioration of his health could lead to instability.  

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid