By Joshua Egbodo Abuja
Th e House of Representatives has given Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, one week to swear in, as well as assign portfolios to the ministers-designate from Kogi and Gombe states. Th e duo of Prof. Nkani Ocheni (Kogi), and Suleiman Hassan (Gombe) were confi rmed on May 3, 2017 by the Senate, as President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominees to replace the late Minister of State for Labour, James Ocholi, and former Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, who was appointed as Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations (UN).
Th e ultimatum was fallout of a motion on matters of urgent national importance, brought on the fl oor yesterday by Hon. Karimi Sunday, and adopted by the House. Sunday expressed regrets that Kogi and Gombe have not been represented in the Federal Executive Council over time, adding that the council, as currently constituted, was in breach of Section 14(2) and Section 147(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). He argued that the “Constitution vests the executive power of the federation in the President and such power may be exercised directly through the Vice President and ministers of the government of the federation or offi cers in the public service of the federation.
” Continuing, he said: “Section 145 (1) of the Constitution provides that whenever the President of the federation is unable to discharge the functions of his offi ce for whatsoever reason, the President shall transmit a written declaration to the President of the Senate or Speaker of the House of Representatives. To that eff ect, and until he transmits to them a declaration to the country, the Vice President shall perform the functions of the President as Acting President. “Section 147 provides that there shall be such offi ces of ministers of the federation as may be established by President. Such ministers shall be nominated by the President and confi rmed by the Senate. “Section 143 (3) and Section 14 (3) shall comply with the principles of federal character, accordingly, each state shall have at least one minister,” and wondered why the delay in swearing them in.