A Senior Advocate Waited For 4 Years To Tell Us That His Appointment In Govt Was Illegal – Ohuegbe

A few hours ago, veteran journalist, and political analyst, Chuks Ohuegbe came out to tackle the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo over his recent comments on the illegality of his appointment in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet.

Recall that while delivering a speech at the valedictorian program organized in Buhari’s honor on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, Keyamo told the outgoing president that the appointment of a Minister of State in his cabinet was not recognized by the Constitution and should not be adopted by future administrations.

Reacting to Keyamo’s remarks during an interview on Africa Independent Television’s ‘Kaakaki’ program on Thursday morning, Ohuegbe, who is the Director of Publication at the Pilot Newspaper, pointed out that the Minister of State is indeed correct on the lack of Constitutional recognition for the office he is currently occupying.

The veteran journalist, however, went on to question why, as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Keyamo waited for a full tenure to elapse before pointing out the illegality of his appointment into Buhari’s cabinet.

He said; “Of a truth, if you look at the 1999 Constitution, you will not find the provision for a Minister of State mentioned anywhere. There is nowhere it is written that anybody who is appointed to the federal cabinet will be called Minister of State. Section 147 and 148 makes it explicitly clear that when the oath is administered, you will be recognized as a Minister of the Federal Republic. But some people in their own thinking, went ahead to make some persons Ministers of State. So, in a nutshell, Keyamo is right.

But why is he bringing it up now? Isn’t it too late in the day? Why would a Senior Advocate of Nigeria wait for four whole years before telling us that the appointment he held in government is illegal? One would have expected that as a senior lawyer, he would have made this correction from the first day he was appointed and then rejected it on the basis of its unconstitutionality. Nigerians would have hailed him at the time.”