Chapter VI, The Executive Part I, A – The President of the Federation

┬áChapter VI, Part I, The Executive – Federal Executive

A – The President of the Federation

130.(1) There shall be for the Federation a President.

(2) The President shall be the Head of State, the Chief Executive of the Federation and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation.

131. A person shall be qualified for election to the office of the President if –

(a) he is a citizen of Nigeria by birth;

(b) he has attained the age of forty years;

(c) he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party; and

(d) he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.

132. (1) An election to the office of President shall be held on a date to be appointed by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

(2) An election to the said office shall be held on a date not earlier than sixty days and not later than thirty days before the expiration of the term of office of the last holder of that office.

(3) Where in an election to the office of President one of the two or more candidates nominated for the election is the only candidate after the close of nomination, by reason of the disqualification, withdrawal, incapacitation, disappearance or death of the other candidates, the Independent National Electoral Commission shall extend the time for nomination.

(4) For the purpose of an election to the office of President, the whole of the Federation shall be regarded as one constituency.

(5) Every person who is registered to vote at an election of a member of a legislative house shall be entitled to vote at an election to the office of President.

133. A candidate for an election to the office of President shall be deemed to have been duly elected to such office where, being the only candidate nominated for the election –

(a) he has a majority of YES votes over NO votes cast at the election; and

(b) he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

134. (1) A candidate for an election to the office of President shall be deemed to have be been duly elected, where, there being only two candidates for the election –

(a) he has the majority of votes cast at the election; and

(b) he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

(2) A candidate for an election to the office of President shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being more than two candidates for the election-

(a) he has the highest number of votes cast at the election;

and

(b) he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

(3) In a default of a candidate duly elected in accordance with subsection (2) of this section their shall be a second election in accordance with subsection (4) of this section at which the only candidate shall be –

(a) the candidate who scored the highest number of votes at any election held in accordance with the said subsection (2) of this section; and

(b) one among the remaining candidates who has a majority of votes in the highest number of States, so however that where there are more than one candidate with majority of votes in the highest number of States, the candidate among them with the highest total of votes cast at the election shall be the second candidate for the election.

(4) In default of a candidate duly elected under the foregoing subsections, the Independent National Electoral Commission shall within seven days of the result of the election held under the said subsections, arrange for an election between the two candidates and a candidate at such election shall be deemed elected to the office of President if –

(a) he has a majority of votes cast at the election; and

(b) he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

(5) In default of a candidate duly elected under subsection (4) of this section, the Independent National Electoral Commission shall, within seven days of the result of the election held under the aforesaid subsection (4), arrange for another election between the two candidates to which the subsection relates and a candidate at such election shall be deemed to have been duly elected to the office of President, if he has a majority of the votes cast at the election.

135.(1) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, a person shall hold the office of President until –

(a) when his successor in office takes the oath of that office;

(b) he dies whilst holding such office; or

(c) the date when his resignation from office takes effect;

or

(d) he otherwise ceases to hold office in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

(2) Subject to the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, the President shall vacate his office at the expiration of a period of four years commencing from the date, when –

(a) in the case of a person first elected as President under this Constitution, he took the Oath of Allegiance and the oath of office; and

(b) in any other case, the person last elected to that office under this Constitution took the Oath of Allegiance and oath of office or would, but for his death, have taken such Oaths.

(3) If the Federation is at war in which the territory of Nigeria is physically involved and the President considers that it is not practicable to hold elections, the National Assembly may by resolution extend the period of four years mentioned in subsection (2) of this section from time to time; but no such extension shall exceed a period of six months at any one time.

 

136. (1) If a person duly elected as President dies before taking and subscribing the Oath of Allegiance and oath of office, or is for any reason whatsoever unable to be sworn in, the person elected with him as Vice-President shall be sworn in as President and he shall nominate a new Vice-President who shall be appointed by the President with the approval by a simple majority of the National Assembly at a joint sitting.

(2) Where the persons duly elected as President and Vice President die or are unable for any reason whatsoever to assume office before the inauguration of the National Assembly, the Independent National Electoral Commission shall immediately conduct an election for a President and the Vice-President.

 

137. (1) A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if –

(a) subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or, except in such cases as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, he has made a declaration of allegiance to such other country; or

(b) he has been elected to such office at any two previous elections; or

(c) under the law in any part of Nigeria, he is adjudged to be a lunatic or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind;

or

(d) he is under a sentence of death imposed by any competent court of law or tribunal in Nigeria or a sentence of imprisonment or fine for any offence involving dishonesty or fraud (by whatever name called) or for any other offence, imposed on him by any court or tribunal or substituted by a competent authority for any other sentence imposed on him by such a court or tribunal; or

(e) within a period of less than ten years before the date of the election to the office of President he has been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or he has been found guilty of the contravention of the Code of Conduct; or

(f) he is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in Nigeria or any other country; or

(g) being a person employed in the civil or public service of the Federation or of any State, he has not resigned, withdrawn or retired from the employment at least thirty days before the date of the election; or

(h) he is a member of any secret society; or

(i) he has been indicted for embezzlement or fraud by a Judicial Commission of Inquiry or an Administrative Panel of Inquiry or a Tribunal set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, a Tribunals of Inquiry Law or any other law by the Federal or State Government which indictment has been accepted by the Federal or State Government, respectively; or

(j) he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

(2) Where in respect of any person who has been –

(a) adjudged to be a lunatic;

(b) declared to be of unsound mind;

(c) sentenced to death or imprisonment; or

(d) adjudged or declared bankrupt

(e) any appeal against the decision is pending in any court of law in accordance with any law in force in Nigeria, subsection (1) of this section shall not apply during a period beginning from the date when such appeal is lodged and ending on the date when the appeal is finally determined or, as the case may be, the appeal lapses or is abandoned, whichever is earlier.

138. The President shall not, during his tenure of office, hold any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity whatsoever.

139. The National Assembly shall by an Act make provisions as respects –

(a) persons who may apply to the Court of Appeal for the determination of any question as to whether;

(i) any person has been validly elected to the office of President or Vice-President

(ii) the term of office of the President or Vice President has cease, or

(iii) the office of the President or Vice-President has become vacant

(b) circumstances and manner in which, and the conditions upon which such application may be made; and

(c) powers, practice and procedure of the Court of Appeal in relation to any such application.

 

140. (1) A person elected to the office of President shall not begin to perform the functions of that office until he has declared his assets and liabilities as prescribed in this Constitution and he has taken and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance and the oath of office prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution.

(2) The oaths aforesaid shall be administered by the Chief Justice of Nigeria or the person for the time being appointed to exercise the functions of that office.

141. There shall be for the Federation a Vice-President.

142. (1) In any election to which the foregoing provisions of this Part of this Chapter relate, a candidate for an election to the office of President shall not be deemed to be validly nominated unless he nominates another candidate as his associate from the same political party for his running for the office of President, who is to occupy the office of Vice-President and that candidate shall be deemed to have been duly elected to the office of Vice-President if the candidate for an election to the office of President who nominated him as such associate is duly elected as President in accordance with the provisions aforesaid.

(2) The provisions of this Part of this Chapter relating to qualification for election, tenure of office, disqualification, declaration of assets and liabilities and oaths of President shall apply in relation to the office of Vice-President as if references to President were references to Vice-President.

 

143. (1) The President or Vice-President may be removed from office in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(2) Whenever a notice of any allegation in writing signed by not less than one-third of the members of the National Assembly:-

(a) is presented to the President of the Senate;

(b) stating that the holder of the office of President or Vice-President is guilty of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office, detailed particulars of which shall be specified,

the President of the Senate shall within seven days of the receipt of the notice cause a copy thereof to be served on the holder of the office and on each member of the National Assembly, and shall also cause any statement made in reply to the allegation by the holder of the office to be served on each member of the National Assembly.

(3) Within fourteen days of the presentation of the notice to the President of the Senate (whether or not any statement was made by the holder of the office in reply to the allegation contained in the notice) each House of the National Assembly shall resolve by motion without any debate whether or not the allegation shall be investigated.

(4) A motion of the National Assembly that the allegation be investigated shall not be declared as having been passed, unless it is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of each House of the National Assembly.

(5) Within seven days of the passing of a motion under the foregoing provisions, the Chief Justice of Nigeria shall at the request of the President of the Senate appoint a Panel of seven persons who in his opinion are of unquestionable integrity, not being members of any public service, legislative house or political party, to investigate the allegation as provide in this section.

(6) The holder of an office whose conduct is being investigated under this section shall have the right to defend himself in person and be represented before the Panel by legal practitioners of his own choice.

(7) A Panel appointed under this section shall –

(a) have such powers and exercise its functions in accordance with such procedure as may be prescribed by the National Assembly; and

(b) within three months of its appointment report its findings to each House of the National Assembly.

(8) Where the Panel reports to each House of the National Assembly that the allegation has not been proved, no further proceedings shall be taken in respect of the matter.

(9) Where the report of the Panel is that the allegation against the holder of the office has been proved, then within fourteen days of the receipt of the report at the House the National Assembly shall consider the report, and if by a resolution of each House of the National Assembly supported by not less than two-thirds majority of all its members, the report of the Panel is adopted, then the holder of the office shall stand removed from office as from the date of the adoption of the report.

(10) No proceedings or determination of the Panel or of the National Assembly or any matter relating thereto shall be entertained or questioned in any court.

(11) In this section –

“gross misconduct” means a grave violation or breach of the provisions of this Constitution or a misconduct of such nature as amounts in the opinion of the National Assembly to gross misconduct.

 

144. (1) The President or Vice-President shall cease to hold office, if –

(a) by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of all the members of the executive council of the Federation it is declared that the President or Vice-President is incapable of discharging the functions of his office; and

(b) the declaration is verified, after such medical examination as may be necessary, by a medical panel established under subsection (4) of this section in its report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(2) Where the medical panel certifies in the report that in its opinion the President or Vice-President is suffering from such infirmity of body or mind as renders him permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office, a notice thereof signed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation.

(3) The President or Vice-President shall cease to hold office as from the date of publication of the notice of the medical report pursuant to subsection (2) of this section.

(4) the medical panel to which this section relates shall be appointed by the President of the Senate, and shall comprise five medical practitioners in Nigeria:-

(a) one of whom shall be the personal physician of the holder of the office concerned; and

(b) four other medical practitioners who have, in the opinion of the President of the Senate, attained a high degree of eminence in the field of medicine relative to the nature of the examination to be conducted in accordance with the foregoing provisions.

(5) In this section, the reference to “executive council of the Federation” is a reference to the body of Ministers of the Government of the Federation, howsoever called, established by the President and charged with such responsibilities for the functions of government as the President may direct.

145. Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President.

146. (1) The Vice-President shall hold the office of President if the office of President becomes vacant by reason of death or resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or the removal of the President from office for any other reason in accordance with section 143 of this Constitution.

(2) Where any vacancy occurs in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) of this section during a period when the office of Vice-President is also vacant, the President of the Senate shall hold the office of President for a period of not more than three months, during which there shall be an election of a new President, who shall hold office for the unexpired term of office of the last holder of the office.

(3) Where the office of Vice-President becomes vacant:-

(a) by reason of death or resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or removal in accordance with section 143 or 144 of this Constitution;

(b) by his assumption of the office of President in accordance with subsection (1) of this section; or

(c) for any other reason,

the President shall nominate and, with the approval of each House of the National Assembly, appoint a new Vice-President.

 

147. (1) There shall be such offices of Ministers of the Government of the Federation as may be established by the President.

(2) Any appointment to the office of Minister of the Government of the Federation shall, if the nomination of any person to such office is confirmed by the Senate, be made by the President.

(3) Any appointment under subsection (2) of this section by the President shall be in conformity with the provisions of section 14(3) of this Constitution:-

provided that in giving effect to the provisions aforesaid the President shall appoint at least one Minister from each State, who shall be an indigene of such State.

(4) Where a member of the National Assembly or of a House of Assembly is appointed as Minister of the Government of the Federation, he shall be deemed to have resigned his membership of the National Assembly or of the House of Assembly on his taking the oath of office as Minister.

(5) No person shall be appointed as a Minister of the Government of the Federation unless he is qualified for election as a member of the House of Representatives.

(6) An appointment to any of the offices aforesaid shall be deemed to have been made where no return has been received from the Senate within twenty-one working days of the receipt of nomination by the Senate.

 

148. (1) The President may, in his discretion, assign to the Vice-President or any Minister of the Government of the Federation responsibility for any business of the Government of the Federation, including the administration of any department of government.

(2) The President shall hold regular meetings with the Vice-President and all the Ministers of the Government of the Federation for the purposes of –

(a) determining the general direction of domestic and foreign policies of the Government of the Federation;

(b) co-ordinating the activities of the President, the Vice-President and the Ministers of the Government of the Federation in the discharge of their executive responsibilities; and

(c) advising the President generally in discharge of his executive functions other than those functions with respect to which he is required by this Constitution to seek the advice or act on the recommendation of any other person or body.

149. A Minister of the Government of the Federation shall not enter upon the duties of his office, unless he has declared his assets and liabilities as prescribed in this Constitution and has subsequently taken and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance and the oath of office for the due execution of the duties of his office prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution.

150. (1) There shall be an Attorney-General of the Federation who shall be the Chief Law Officer of the Federation and a Minister of the Government of the Federation.

(2) A person shall not be qualified to hold or perform the functions of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation unless he is qualified to practise as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for not less than ten years.

 

151. (1) The President may appoint any person as a Special Adviser to assist him in the performance of his functions.

(2) The number of such Advisers and their remuneration and allowances shall be as prescribed by law or by resolution of the National Assembly.

(3) Any appointment made pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be at the pleasure of the President and shall cease when the President ceases to hold office.

152. A person appointed as Special Adviser under section 151 of this Constitution shall not begin to perform the functions of his office until he has declared his assets and liabilities as prescribed in this Constitution and has subsequently taken and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance and oath of office prescribed in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution.