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Nigeria court orders cabinet to pass resolution on president's ability to govern

[JURIST] Nigeria’s cabinet must pass a resolution within 14 days on whether ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua [BBC profile] is capable of running the country, according to an order issued on Friday by Judge Dan Abutu of Federal High Court in Abuja. Yar'Adua has been absent from the country for two months receiving medical treatment in Saudi Arabia. Last week, a judge for Nigeria's Federal High Court ordered [JURIST report] Vice President Goodluck Jonathan [Online Nigeria profile] to assume executive powers due to the prolonged absence of President Umaru Yar'Adua. Nigeria's cabinet will hear testimony from five doctors to make its decision. If the cabinet finds Yar'Adua to be unfit, Jonathan will take over [BBC report], in accordance with Nigeria's Constitution [text].

In 2008, the Nigerian Supreme Court upheld the results of disputed 2007 election that brought Yar'Adua to power, despite opposition groups' allegations of fraud [JURIST reports]. Yar'Adua had promised to step down if the court invalidated the election. A tribunal [JURIST report] formed before the 2007 election to deal with allegations of fraud ruled that the opposition groups lacked enough evidence of fraud to have the results overturned.

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