SANs: Buhari has not broken any law

The Nigerian Lawyer.com

Constitutional lawyers said yesterday that President Muhammadu Buhari did not violate any law with his decision to work from home.

They said the President, who has just returned to the country after seeking medical treatment abroad, can work from home or anywhere in the country to fully recuperate.

They include Mr Seyi Sowemimo (SAN), Chief Sebastine Hon (SAN), Chief Babatunde Fashanu (SAN), Dr Paul Ananaba (SAN), Chief Wahab Shittu and a former member of Ogun State Judiciary Service Commission, Mr. Abayomi Omoyinmi.

For Sowemimo (SAN), there is nothing unusual about President Buhari’s decision.

He said: “Personally, I don’t think there’s anything unlawful. I don’t see much difference between where he stays in Aso Rock and where he goes to work. The important thing is that the work should be done. What matters is that he’s tackling the challenges that are weighing on Nigerians minds such as restructuring, hate speeches, etc.”

Sowemimo, using the United States as an example, said President Donald Trump sometimes operates from his private residences in the USA.

“Donald Trump has worked from several of his own private residences in the USA, like the one in Florida for instance. So, when you look at President Buhari’s decision, you’ll realise that it’s not so unusual after all.”

According to Chief Hon: “there is absolutely no problem with Mr. President working from his house. That he left the United Kingdom to be physically present and work in Nigeria, is enough compliance with our laws.

“The FCT Abuja is Nigeria’s capital, and it is enough compliance if Mr. President is carrying out his duties there.

“There is no constitutional provision stipulating that the President should operate from his office. Indeed, he must be commended for infringing on his privacy”, he said.

Hon however counseled that President Buhari should permit the same circumstances that avail in the office environment to avail visitors to his private residence.

Fashanu said: “Just as there is no law that limits the time he could spend abroad or on medical leave, there is none that states he cannot work from home”.

Dr Ananaba (SAN) said the president broke no law by deciding to work from home.

“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. His office and his home are in Aso Villa, so there’s no big deal.

“We all know that the president has not been feeling well. If he feels working from home will help him perform optimally, I don’t think anyone should worry. Nobody should compel him to confine himself to one place.

Chief Shittu also said: “l think we should appreciate that the recovery process of the president necessarily has to be gradual.

“Having returned to the country and addressed us publicly, he needs some more time to receive executive briefings on the governance process away from distractions to enable him take critical decisions that would impact on the quality of governance.

“If he is able for now to do so effectively and efficiently from home, no problem.

“The home of a president is equipped with paraphernalia and structures including tools to enable the president work temporarily and take informed and impactful decisions”, he stated.

Omoyinmi said he does not know any legal or constitutional provision that prohibits the president from working from home.

“I don’t think there’s any legal implication per se, in as much as the environment of the president’s home is conducive and he gets the job of governance done effectively. I do not know of any legal or constitutional provision that prohibits the president from working from home especially under the current circumstances of his office being renovated”, he contended.

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