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2023: Malami, Ngige, Sylva Attended FEC Meeting As Observers — Falana SAN Says Nigeria Is Not A Banana Republic

Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), says the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; and the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, who attended the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday only did so as observers since they had resigned last week.

Falana said this on Wednesday while reacting to news that the ministers attended the meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

This is just as the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, told State House correspondents that only Buhari could determine the fate of the four ministers who had been hosted at a valedictory ceremony last week only for them to make a U-turn and dump their political ambitions.

Responding to a question, Falana said, “They only attended FEC as observers because the President already held a send-off for them. So, they are only observers and even the minister of information has said it is left for the President to determine their fate.

“Nigeria is not a banana republic. It is embarrassing for the President to invite them to a send-off ceremony they voluntarily attended and one of the outgoing ministers even thanked the President,” said Falana.

The senior advocate said as far as the constitution is concerned, the resignation of a minister takes effect once the letter of resignation is received by the appointing authority.

“For the avoidance of doubt, section 306 (2) thereof provides that ‘The resignation of any person from any office established by this constitution shall take effect when the writing signifying the resignation is received by the authority or person to whom it is addressed or by any person authorised by that authority or person to receive it,’”.

Meanwhile, Lai Mohammed said the fate of the affected ministers will be determined by the President.

According to Mohammed: “…about ministers returning or not going, I think you need to give me more time so that I can tell you exactly what the situation is. Right now, I need to cross-check. I need to confirm again from Mr President what the situation is.”

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