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Can a petition stop Tinubu’s swearing-in as president?

The 2023 general elections which the people holds was marred by irregularities and produced Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All progressive congress candidate as president-elect has since been subject to criticism and legal controversies.

Nigerians, who believed that the presidential elections were hijacked, totally fused with corruption and Tinubu candidacy from the beginning has no place in law have petitioned the court to question the validity of how he won and per adventure declare the results of the election null and void.

In recent times, as May 29 draws closer which is the set time for the inauguration of the president-elect in Nigeria, the Nigerian peoples still aggrieved by the outcome of the presidential elections have since clamoured and raised eyebrows that Bola Ahmed Tinubu should not be sworn-in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the reason that a pending case of the validity of Tinubu candidacy and the validity of the presidential election results still subsist in court.

Of a truth, a matter against Tinubu subsists in court but what really is the law? It should be known that the law gives stipulated time as to when things are to be done, giving the effluxion of a certain matter, the beginning and ending of a certain thing.

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Just as the constitution stipulates when the election should be held under Section 132(2), it also stipulates when and how the president is to take office.

Those clamouring for the stoppage of the inauguration of Tinubu as president should be aware that such clamour is in contradistinction the express provision of Section 136(1) which holds thus; “If a person duly elected as president dies before taking and subscribing to the Oath of Allegiance and oath of office, or is for any reason unable to be sworn in, the person elected with him as Vice-President shall be sworn in as President….”

On the fact of being ‘duly elected’, it only means that a person has followed the due process of being voted for and elected, that is, joining a particular political party, getting nomination form, campaigned for votes and was indeed voted for.

If after a person as fulfilled all of the above, the constitution makes it abundantly clear that it is only the death of such person that can bar him from becoming the president.

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Moreover, the current president, in person of His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari cannot continue to stay in office.

The spirited letters of Section 135(2) makes it impossible for the president to remain in office after the expiration of 4 years in office which begins to count immediately he took the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of office.

Again, Section 135(1)(d) makes it possible for Bola Ahmed Tinubu to succeed to the office of the president when Buhari’s tenure must have effluxes in accordance with the constitution.

It is well settled in the Nigerian jurisprudence and have been reinstated by the apex court in the case of MARWA v. NYAKO (2012) 6 NWLR (PT 1296) PARAS F-G that; “The time fixed by the constitution for the doing of anything cannot be extended. It is immutable; it is fixed like the rock of Gilbralter.

 It cannot be extended, it cannot be elongated, it cannot be expanded and it cannot be stretched beyond what it states…” Per Onnoghen J.S.C (Later CJN, as he then was).

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It will only be alien, unknown and totally in contradistinction to allow Buhari to continue to hold the office of president when there is a successor who has been “duly elected”.

To put it more aptly, the clamour to stop the inauguration or swearing in of the Asiwaju of Bourdillon as president is totally unconstitutional and has no place or basis in the Nigerian jurisprudence.

By strict adherence to our laws, Buhari will leave come May 29 and Bola Ahmed Tinubu will take over.

Those who are aggrieved as regards the presidential election results can at best wait for the outcome or decision of the court and not clamour for the stoppage of an already defined process of activity by the law.

LEGALJOE who is also JOSEPH ALIU is a Law Undergraduate,

Oou Chapter and can be reached via 09131704196, 09085773212,

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