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Nigerian Vice President's Office Claims Vindication in Withdrawal of Court Case

In Nigeria, the office of the vice president says Atiku Abubakar has been vindicated by the government’s withdrawal of a court case seeking to declare the position of vice president vacant. Over the weekend, the government stated that Abubakar remains the Vice President.

Shehu Garuba, the vice president’s spokesman, said, "The vice president has always believed that the action of the President was alien to the Nigerian constitution and was therefore an abuse of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So the people who have done this, by their own hand, decided to reverse what they have done. That is to suggest that they probably have realized that they had done the wrong thing and now wish to correct it by themselves,” he said.

Garuba said Abubakar has been justified by the government’s decision to discontinue its attempt to declare the position of the Vice President vacant.

“It means a vindication for the vice president. But besides that there are also various other issues that were raised in his statement of claim that the lawyers have filed. So that is not to say it is the end of the court story,” Garuba noted.

He said Vice President Atiku would still pursue his court case against the government, which has stripped him off any privileges that come along with the vice presidency.

“The vice president will still press on with his court case because his office has been stripped of virtually everything. All his officials have been sent away. Facilities have been removed including cars. So somebody needs to say this is right after all or that the office of the vice president has been treated with a sort of respect that it deserves to be treated,” he said.

Garuba said the vice president is asking a court to order the government to reinstate all that was removed from his office.

“That is exactly what he wants the court to do. Because among the prayers that he had asked the judge to grant, is the need for the office to be reinstated. All of the privileges that are attached to the office should be put back into place. So far, we haven’t seen anything being done in that direction,” he said.

Garuba said the President’s action over the period has virtually crippled the office of the Vice President.

“What they have not said, they have done by their own action, because the action of the president has effectively nullified the office of the vice president, and the court has got to intervene on that matter. Meanwhile, the vice president is spending the rest of his vacation. When that is done, he hopes to return in his full capacity as the vice president of Nigeria. And he hopes that he will be duly accorded all of the respect, the status conferred upon the office,” he said.