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Friday, January 29, 2010

Nigeria court rules president not required to transfer power to VP
Sarah Paulsworth at 11:59 AM ET

[JURIST] A Nigerian court ruled Friday that ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua [BBC profile] is not required to formally transfer his powers to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan [Online Nigeria profile] or any other interim leader. The Federal High Court in Abuja rejected [BBC report] a lawsuit brought by the Nigerian Bar Association [official website], seeking to have presidential powers temporary endowed in Jonathan pursuant to Article 145 of Nigeria's Constitution [text]. Last week, the court ordered [JURIST report] Nigeria's cabinet to pass a resolution within 14 days on whether Yar'Adua is capable of running the country. Earlier this month, a judge for Nigeria's Federal High Court ordered [JURIST report] Jonathan to assume executive powers in Yar'Adua's absence. Yar'Adua has been receiving medical treatment in Saudi Arabia since late November

In 2008, the Nigerian Supreme Court upheld the results of disputed 2007 election that brought Yar'Adua to power, despite opposition groups' allegations of fraud [JURIST reports]. Yar'Adua had promised to step down if the court invalidated the election. A tribunal [JURIST report] formed before the 2007 election to deal with allegations of fraud ruled that the opposition groups lacked enough evidence of fraud to have the results overturned.

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