The Federal High Court in Abuja, has held that President Muhammadu Buhari has not violated the 1999 Constitution (as amended), by mere proclaiming himself as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.
The court delivered judgment in suit no. ABJ/CS/1005/2017, filed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, to determine the constitutional qualification of the President of Nigeria, also holding office as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.
Justice Mohammed in deciding that there was no violation of section 138 of the Constitution, held that: “The phrase ‘hold’ as contained in S. 138, meant to preside, act, to possess, occupy, or conduct, the actual day to day running of the Office.
“That merely proclaiming/announcing that he (the President) was the Minister for Petroleum, was not enough to conclude that he holds the Office of Minister.
“That if the President had not appointed anybody to see to the day to day running of the Office, i.e. Ibe Kachikwu, the court’s decision would have been different.”
The court held further that: “Unless it can be shown that the President is directly conducting, directing, occupying the office of the Petroleum Minister, then, it can be said that the President actually holds the Office of the Petroleum Minister.”