Should the Supreme Court rule in favour of the 2023 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Atiku Abubakar and the Labour Party’s Peter Obi in their respective appeals contesting the results of the election on February 25, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, may succeed President Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Interim President.
According to Gistlover, as the Supreme Court begins hearing appeals against the ruling of the Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC), which upheld All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate Tinubu as the legitimate victor of the February 25, 2023, presidential election, there is a great deal of suspense and tangible tension throughout the nation.
In the event that the court rules in favor of the petitioners, which includes the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM), President Tinubu and his vice, Kashim Shettima, would be required to resign from their positions.
In the event of such an occurrence, the Senate President, who is the third in charge in the political structure of the country, would hold their roles according to the constitution.
When discussing with journalists who would assume charge of the national leadership in the event of such an incident, attorney Akan Udoh stated that there is absolutely no disagreement on the matter.
“The 1999 Constitution (as modified) clearly states that the Senate President, Godswill Obot Akpabio in this instance, shall serve in that role for ninety days, during which time an election shall be held.
The President and his deputy, along with a State Governor and his deputy, are on a combined ticket, campaigning and running for office together, and as such, have similar mandates from the electorate, according to the Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Law. According to reports, Udoh stated in an interview with the Daily Times.
According to Naija News, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) plans to hold a new election for the top two positions in the country in three months, or 90 days, while the Senate President is being sworn in.
The Senate President is explicitly granted the Presidency’s powers for a three-month period under Section 146 (2) of the Constitution.
The Section states: “Where any vacancy occurs in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) of this section during a period when the office of Vice-President is also vacant, the President of the Senate shall hold the office of President for a period of not more than three 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.
“(If the President either dies, or resigns, or is impeached, or is removed or is permanently incapable and the Vice-President is not available to become the President, The President of the Senate would become the President for 3 months during that period, there would be an election for a New President who completes the tenure of the former President.)”