Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President.

  1. The Vice-President shall hold the office of President if the office of the President becomes vacant by reason of death or resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or the removal of the President from office for any other reason in accordance with the provisions of Sections 143 or 144 of the Constitution.
  2. Where any vacancy occurs in the circumstances mentioned above during a period when the office of Vice-President is also vacant, the President of the Senate shall hold the office of the President for a period of not more than 3 months, during which there shall be an election of a new President, who shall hold office for the unexpired term of office of the last holder of the office. 
  3.  Where the office of the Vice-President becomes vacant: 

(a) by reason of death or resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or removal in accordance with the provisions of Sections 143 or 144 of the Constitution;
(b) by his assumption of the office of President in accordance with subsection (1) of this section; or
(c) for any other reason, the President shall nominate and, with the approval of each House of the National Assembly, appoint a new Vice-President.

The Vice-President

The President is not bound to give the Vice-President any function at all by the provisions of the 1979 Constitution of Nigeria. This lapse has engendered lots of problem and serious misgivings coupled with vehement bickering, confusion and misunderstanding as well as leading to internal disharmony. Now however, the 1999 Constitution emphatically provides that the President may in his discretion, assign to the Vice-President responsibility for any business of the Government of the Federation of any department of governance.

The President shall hold regular meetings with the Vice-President and all the Ministers of the Government of the Federation for the purpose of:

  1. determining the general direction of domestic and foreign policies of the Government of the Federation; 
  2.  coordinating the activities of the President, the Vice-President and the Ministers of the Government of the Federation in the discharge of their executive responsibilities; and 
  3. advising the President generally in the discharge of his executive functions other than those functions with respect to which he is required by the Constitution to seek the advice or act on the recommendation of any other person or body.

The Appointment of Special Adviser

The President may appoint special advisers in order to assist him in the performance of his functions.
The number of such Advisers and their remuneration and allowances shall be as prescribed by law or by resolution of the National Assembly. The appointment of a Special Adviser is at the pleasure of the President and any person so appointed by him will cease or vacate the post when the President ceases to hold office.

The Ministers

Both sections 135 of the 1979 Constitution and 147 of 1999 Constitution are explicit on the appointment of the Ministers of the Federal Government and they all provide as follows: mutatis mutandi:

  1. There shall be such offices of Ministers of the Government of the Federation as may be established by the President. But before appointment of any person as a Minister by the President can be done, a nomination of any person to such office must be confirmed by the SENATE. The President is enjoined to follow the federal character principles in the appointment of his Ministers and the President shall appoint at least one Minister from each state who shall be an indigene of such State. 
  2.  This directive is in conformity with the fundamental objectives and directive principles of state policy which demands that the composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such manner as to reflect the Federal Character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or in any of its agencies. 
Note that where a member of the National Assembly or of a House of Assembly is appointed a Minister of the Government of the Federation, he shall be deemed to have resigned his membership of the National Assembly or of the House of Assembly on his taking the Oath of Office as Minister.

No person shall be appointed as a Minister of the Government of the Federation unless he is qualified for election as a member of the House of Representatives.

Lastly it must be remembered that a Minister of the Government of the Federation shall not enter upon the duties of his office, unless he has declared his assets and liabilities as prescribed by the Constitution and has subsequently taken and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office of Minister prescribed in accordance with the relevant schedule to the Constitution.


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