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President Buhari Dragged To Court Over 10-Day “Private Visit” To UK – Inibehe Effiong, Esq.

Unic Press UK: A legal practitioner based in the capital city of Lagos State, Inibehe Effiong, has filed a lawsuit – FHC/L/CS/763/2019 – at the Federal High Court in Lagos against the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff Inibehe Effiong is asking the Federal High Court to determine four issues or questions, namely:

  1. Whether in view of the extant provisions of Section 145 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the 1st Defendant can validly proceed on vacation for any length of time without transmitting a written declaration to the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to that effect, which will empower the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to perform the functions of the President in an acting capacity.
  2. Whether the 1st Defendant’s action in proceeding on vacation to the United Kingdom from the 25th day of April, 2019 to the 5th day of May, 2019 without transmitting the written declaration envisaged in Section 145 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) to the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not in conflict with the provisions of Section 145 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
  3. Whether the 1st Defendant in refusing to adhere to the clear and unambiguous provisions of Section 145 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) has not by that singular action violated his oath of office and the Provisions of the Constitution which he swore to uphold.
  4. Whether the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) or any other law for that matter, permits the 1st Defendant to exercise presidential authority over the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from any country outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, save when he is out of the country on official diplomatic engagements.

Mr. Effiong is also seeking the following Reliefs:

  1. A DECLARATION that by the provisions of Section 145 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is mandated to compulsorily transmit a written declaration to the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to that effect before proceeding on vacation.
  2. A DECLARATION that the failure of the 1st Defendant to comply with Section 145 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) by not transmitting a written declaration to the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to that effect before proceeding on vacation to the United Kingdom from the 25th day of April, 2019 to the 5th day of May, 2019 is a gross violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
  3. A DECLARATION that since the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) does not have extra-territorial application, the 1st Defendant cannot exercise presidential authority over the affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from the United Kingdom, or any other country outside the territorial jurisdiction of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, save when he is outside the country on official diplomatic engagements.
  4. AN ORDER of this Honourable Court restraining the 1st Defendant from proceeding on vacations whether within or outside the Federal Republic of Nigeria without transmitting a written declaration to the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in compliance with section 145 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit, Mr Effiong said on his Facebook page.


On April 25, 2019, the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had issued a press statement that the president would proceed to the United Kingdom on a “private visit.”

“Further to the official visit by President Muhammadu Buhari to Lagos Wednesday where he commissioned a number of projects executed by the State Government, the President is scheduled to depart for Maiduguri, the Borno State capital for another official visit Thursday. He is expected to commission developmental projects especially in the sectors of education, healthcare and roads. At the end of the visit, President Buhari will be proceeding to the United Kingdom on a private visit. He is expected to return to Nigeria on May 5, 2019,” Femi wrote.

When the president returned to Nigeria, Femi also issued a press release on May 5, 2019. He said:

“President Muhammadu Buhari Sunday returned to Abuja, after a 10-day private visit to the United Kingdom. Some reckless online media, irresponsible political opposition, and other bilious groups and individuals, had gone on overdrive since the President left the country on April 25, insinuating that he was going for hospitalization, and would not return after 10 days as stated… Now that the President has returned, can these apostles of evil imaginings swallow their words? Can they retract their tendentious stories as well as press statements, and apologize to millions of Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora that they have fed with hogwash?”

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