LAGOS – Lawyers have allayed fears over the possibility of an Interim National Government being imposed on the country in the unlikely event of a disruption of the 2023 general elections due to insecurity or any other reason.
There have recently been fears that an interim government might be imposed on the country in light of disturbances across the country, in addition to the continued state of insecurity – elements that could hinder the smooth run of the 2023 polls.
Some political actors had also been insinuating that there were plots by certain cabals in and out of government to impose an Interim Government in the country by creating confusion during the coming elections, which could lead to the cancelation of the presidential election.
One of the lawyers, Barrister Emeka Iheonu, who spoke to Sunday Independent at the weekend, maintained that the idea of an Interim Government was neither contemplated, nor provided for in the extant Constitution of Nigeria.
Iheonu, a member of the African Bar Association (ABA), said: “To safeguard Nigeria’s democracy, the government through the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must ensure that credible elections are conducted as and when due with the liberties and political rights of the citizens guaranteed and protected.
“An Interim Government would act arbitrarily and should be resisted by Nigerians.”
On his own, a human right lawyer, Barrister Alaowei Ebikonbowei Cleric, stated that in every circle of election, people do express different misgivings to heat up the polity.
Barrister Cleric, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (CHURAC), stated: “To say that the authorities are planning to install an interim government if the elections do not hold, to me, is wishful thinking.
“That cannot be possible under our constitutional democracy.
“The Nigerian Constitution is very clear on this. If elections cannot be held on the stated dates or transition becomes impossible, the National Assembly may by resolution extend the tenure of the president from time to time, but should not exceed six months.
“Even if the president and the vice president resign, the Senate President will rule for six months and then conduct fresh elections.
“There is no place for an Interim Government in our constitution. Nigeria is governed by law.
“If the plotters of such an Interim Government are planning to overthrow the government through military coup d’etat, then I won’t argue.”
Independent Newspapers Ltd