- The failure to constitute a federal cabinet may soon be termed as an offence pending the assent to a bill
- The proposed legislation has gained enormous support in the House of Reps
- Sections of the bill stipulates how a sitting president can be punished if found guilty of misconduct
A bill seeking to impeach a Nigerian president for failure to appoint ministers within 30 days upon assumption of office has passed second reading in the House of Representatives.
The proposed legislation titled, the Transition and Assumption Bill 2020, was passed by the parliament during a plenary session on Tuesday, May 17, The Cable reported.
Sections of the bill stipulate that it would amount to gross misconduct on the part of the president if he does not form his cabinet in 30 days.
The bill stated that such gross misconduct would constitute an impeachable offence.
Section 19(1) of the proposed bill stipulates that:
"The president shall on assumption of office, appoint ministers within 30 days from the date he took the oath of office.”
Section 19(2) of the bill provides that:
‘’The president shall constitute and appoint all boards of government agencies and parastatal that are due for constitution and appointment within two months from the date of his assumption of office."
The legislation in section 19(3) explained that:
“The president “shall be guilty of misconduct as provided under section 143 (2) (b) of the Constitution” if he fails to comply with the provisions of the proposed bill."
According to that section, the president can be impeached when he is guilty of gross misconduct in the performance of the functions of his office.
Premium Times reported the deputy minority leader, Toby Okechukwu, said the bill will stop elected presidents from delaying in forming cabinet.
''This is a very important bill. What mischief does it intend to cure? It will kill the mischief of discretion. The transition period is a period when a country is vulnerable.
“It is the time for transition, not a time for the body language of anyone. In 2015, we lost about six months due to the fact that our cabinet was formed by the president. It happened again in 2019.''
However, the bill would still need to be assented by the president to become a law.
Meanwhile, the president of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday, May 19, announced the red chamber's suspension of plenary for the next seven days.
Speaking on Wednesday at the Senate, Lawan disclosed that the week will be dedicated to a zonal public hearing on the review of the 1999 constitution, The Nation reported.