Femi Falana, a top Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, has stated that Constitutionally, the Ministers who recently resigned over their 2023 political ambitions cannot make a U-turn and just return back to their former Offices, but can only be reappointed after a fresh recommendation by the President, and fresh screening and confirmation by the Senate, Page 36 learnt.
Recall, that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered those with political ambition in his cabinet to resign on or before Monday, May 16, 2022.
Following the directive, 10 of the Ministers tendered their resignations, and were sent forth by the President on Friday.
However, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who was among the Ministers that resigned, later on Friday, announced his withdrawal from the 2023 Presidential race, saying that he had decided to concentrate on his job as a Minister.
There were also unconfirmed reports that the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami, had withdrawn from the 2023 Kebbi State Governorship race.
Reacting in a statement, Falana said: ”Such a withdrawal is “illegal” as it constitutes “a gross contravention of Section 306 (2) of the Constitution, which stipulates that the resignation of any person from any Office established by this Constitution shall take effect when the writing signifying the resignation is received by the authority or person to whom it is addressed, or by any person authorised by that authority or person to receive it.
”Since the resignation of the former Ministers has taken effect, they cannot return to the cabinet either on their own volition, or on the directive of the President.
“The resignation of the Ministers is not a cabinet reshuffle. It is akin to the removal of the former Ministers by the President.
“Therefore, if the former Ministers are going to be reappointed, the President is required by Section 147 of the Constitution, to submit names to the Senate for fresh screening and confirmation.”