Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The governorship candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in 2019 election in Lagos State, Chief Owolabi Salis, has said it is difficult for the courts, including the Supreme Court, to remove the President after after he had been sworn into office.
Salis in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan, said it was necessary for Nigerians to know that under the presidential system, the President has two offices, which are the President/Chief Executive Officer and the Commander in Chief (C-in-C) of the Armed Forces.
According to him, the two separate offices are combined in one in many jurisdictions practicing the presidential system of government, stating that while one needs to go through some written procedures to acquire the power of President/Chief Executive, there is no effective written procedure for acquiring the power of the Commander-in-Chief.
“When the President travels, he can only hand over and/or delegate the power of the President/Chief Executive to his deputy but not that of the Commander-in-Chief, otherwise he could be overthrown easily. The guards can be changed before he returns”, he said.
Salis, who is a lawyer, a chartered accountant and an expert in diversity management, added that apart from the fact that it is abnormal for any Acting President to sit on the seat of the Commander-in-Chief or use his office while the President was not around, no Nigerian leader either under the military or democratic system, had ever handed over the power of Commander-in-Chief to his deputy when he was not around.
He said, “A sitting President needs to have effective control of the Service Chiefs and be truly a Commander-in-Chief. Some sitting Presidents don’t understand this and make some military Commanders act for them as Commander-in-Chief. Such sitting Presidents end up being overthrown.
“We are all respecting the decisions of the judges and other bodies because of the transferred enforcement powers of the Commander-in-Chief. If the judge says I jailed you and you refuse to go, there is nothing the judge will do, The judge cannot lock you up himself. The judge can’t do anything except through the transferred enforcement powers of the Commander-in-Chief.
“When the judge swears in a Commander-in-Chief, it will be difficult for the same judge to remove him. We are all respecting the judges because of the transferred enforcement powers of the Commander-in-Chief.”