The House of Representatives has passed for second reading the Transition and Assumption of Office Bill 2020, which will make it compulsory for a president to constitute his cabinet within 30 days or risk impeachment.
While the presidency is to prepare a set of comprehensive handover notes covering the term of office of the outgoing president, the coordinator is to retain a copy of the notes and send one copy respectively to the National Assembly, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Council of State and the Federal Ministry of Information for public records and archives.
This is contained in the legislation titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Procedure and Ceremony for Transition and Assumption of the Office of the President and Vice-President by the President-elect and Vice-President-elect, and to Facilitate the Handover Process by the Outgoing President and Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and for Related Matters.’
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), appointed his ministers about six months after his inauguration for the first term in 2015.
Sponsor of the bill, Kpam Sokpo, in the explanatory memorandum on the proposal, said it sought to provide “for the procedure and ceremony for transition and assumption of the office of the president and vice president by the president-elect and vice president-elect, and to facilitate the handover process by the outgoing president and vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Section 19 of the bill read, “(1) Subject to Sections 147 and 302 of the Constitution, the president shall on assumption of office appoint ministers within 30 days from the date he took the oath of office.
“The president shall constitute and appoint all boards of government agencies and parastatals that are due for constitution and appointment within two months from the date of his assumption of office.
“Where the president fails to comply with the provisions of this section without any justifiable reason, he shall be guilty of a misconduct as provided under Section 143 (2) (b) of the Constitution.”