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It’s illegal for Ngige, other ministers to withdraw resignation – Falana

Falana, in a statement released on Friday, May 13, 202, described the development as “illegal and unconstitutional”.

The former governor of Anambra State announced in a statement on Friday that he has withdrawn his resignation after consultation with President Muhammadu Buhari on his political future.

“Having also consulted widely with my family, constituents, supporters, and well-wishers, it is my pleasure to announce the withdrawal of my interest and earlier decision to contest the office of the President in the 2023 general elections.

“As a result of this, will NOT be participating in any of the internal party processes of the said election, starting with the primary. I took this momentous decision firstly in the overall interest of the nation, in order to enable me to concentrate on my job, and assist the President and the Government, during the difficult last lap in the life of the administration, and secondly for other family reasons.

“I have since communicated this decision to the President and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,” his statement read.

Reacting to the development, Falana argued that such a withdrawal from Ngige and the purported withdrawal of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, was illegal and amounts to a gross contravention of section 306 (2) of the Constitution.

In the statement titled, ‘Withdrawal of resignation letters by former Ministers is illegal’, the SAN said, “Having resigned from the President, Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, and Dr. Chris Ngige were reported to have withdrawn their letters of resignation after the farewell meeting.

“Such withdrawal is illegal as it constitutes a gross contravention of section 306 (2) of the Constitution which stipulates that “The resignation of any person from any office established by this Constitution shall take effect when the writing signifying the resignation is received by the authority or person to whom it is addressed or by any person authorised by that authority or person to receive it.”

“Since the resignation of the former Ministers has taken effect, they cannot return to the cabinet either on their own volition or on the directive of the President. The resignation of the Ministers is not a cabinet reshuffle. It is akin to the removal of the former Ministers by the President.

“Therefore, if the former Ministers are going to be reappointed, the President is required by section 147 of the Constitution to submit names to the Senate for fresh screening and confirmation.”

Recall that Buhari had ordered his cabinet members and other appointees in his government with the ambition to run for political offices in 2023 to resign on or before Monday, May 16, 2022.

A valedictory section was also held on Friday to mark the exit of the Ministers with ambition from the government but Ngige, and Malami reportedly, made a U-turn hours after.

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