Nigeria Judge's Ruling Supports Long-Absent Leader

Published January 29, 2010

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — A Nigerian high court justice says the country's absent president did not violate the constitution by not designating a replacement before being hospitalized in Saudi Arabia two months ago.

Judge Dan Abutu says President Umaru Yar'Adua was not constitutionally required to designate an acting president before seeking medical treatment for a kidney and heart condition in Saudi Arabia. Abutu's ruling on Friday struck down one of three lawsuits that aim to force the federal government to allow the vice president to take over.

Lawyer Amaechi Nwaiwu said the Nigerian Bar Association would decide whether to appeal.

Written by <P>Associated Press</P>

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