REQUIREMENTS FOR BEING A MINISTER IN NIGERIA. * DAILY LAW TIPS (Tip 390) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

*REQUIREMENTS FOR BEING A MINISTER IN NIGERIA. 
DAILY LAW TIPS (Tip 390) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

First of all, the law is the law until such law is changed.
The only requirements for any person to be made a Minister of the Government of the the Federation are the same requirements for any person to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives. And, the requirements are;

A Minister of the government of the Federation, must;

1. Be a Nigerian citizen

2. Be more 30 years old or more

3. Be educated up to at least school certificate level or its equivalent.

4. Be a member of a political party and is sponsored by that party.

5. Not be a person that is not a citizen of Nigeria by birth but is also a citizen of another country by any other means apart from by birth.

6. Not be a person that is adjudged or declared to be lunatic or of unsound mind under any law in Nigeria, except where such decision is on appeal before any court of law and such appeal is not withdrawn or abandoned or completed.

7. Not be a person that has a sentence of death imposed on him or sentence of imprisonment or fine for offence involving dishonesty or fraud or for any other offence imposed on him by any court of law or tribunal or competent authority. Except where such decision is on appeal before any court of law and such appeal is not withdrawn or abandoned or completed.

8. Not be a person that has within less than ten (10) years from the date of his appointment as Minister has been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or contravention of the Code of Conduct.

9. Not be a person that is undischarged bankrupt, having been declared bankrupt by any law in Nigeria except where such decision is on appeal before any court of law and such appeal is not withdrawn or abandoned or completed.

10. Not be a person that is employed in the public service of the Federation or any state and has not resigned, withdrawn or retired from such employment at least 30 days before the date of his appointment.

11. Not be a person that is a member of a secret society

12. Not be a person that has not presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

However, it must be noted that although the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, provides that the requirements for a person to be appointed a Minister are same for any person to be elected to the House of Representatives, the constitution failed to mention that the clearly elective specific requirements of “being a member of political party” and also “the presentation of forged certificates to INEC” will be waived for appointment of minister. Hence, following the requirements for a person to be elected as member of House of Representatives as those for any person to be appointed a Minister, strictly, may cause some boat rocking. To some persons this issue may appear trivial and mere academic but it can be a point for one to approach the courts for interpretation. There is need for this part of our constitution to be amended for clarity.

My authorities are sections 28, 65, 66, 147(5), 318 and 319 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

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Onyekachi Umah

Onyekachi Umah is a private Legal Practitioner with amazing experience in human right, criminal law and civil law including; intellectual property, transaction and regulation advisory, corporate, commercial, investment law and energy law as well as litigation and arbitration arising from them. He is a Legal Awareness Expert and also a Certified Arbitrator both in Nigeria and the United Kingdom. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK) and a Certified Conflict Management Practitioner and Negotiator. He is a member of prestigious “Young ICSID” of International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), Washington DC. Among other, he has a certificate in Law of Contract from a program of Harvard University, a certificate in International Environmental Negotiation from United Nations Institute for Training and Research, Geneva and recently, a certificate in Conflict Management from United States Institute of Peace, Washington, D.C. He also holds a master of laws degree from University of Jos and he is a doctoral student at the faculty of law, Nassarawa State University. 

Onyekachi is the managing partner of a leading law firm; Bezaleel Chambers International. He is the founder and President of a free law awareness platform known as www.LearnNigerianLaws.com that promotes awareness and understanding of rights and laws of Nigeria (#SabiLaw) and offers free daily law tips (#DailyLawTips). Understanding the challenges of Administration of Criminal Justice in Nigeria, he dedicates his daily law tips every Mondays to promoting Criminal Justice (#CriminalJusticeMonday). Recently, he started a new series on Election Laws tagged (#SabiElectionLaws) to increase legal awareness on elections laws, policies and regulations in Nigeria. He is the convener of the Sabi Law Lecture Series (#SabiLawLectureSeries), travelling around Nigeria delivering free law awareness lectures. He also organises and sponsors a quarterly competition, titled "Sabi Law Video Challenge" (#SabiLawVideoChallenge) where Nigerians win money (over $130.00 per winner) for making videos of themselves talking on any law or right as a way to promote law awareness and have fun. To further promote legal awareness among Nigerians across the world, he started a law awareness show titled "Sabi Law With Onyekachi Umah, Esq" (#SabiLawWithOnyekachiUmahEsq) showing on social media platforms via @LearnNigerianLaws.   

Mr. Umah has written over Four Hundred (400) free to access articles and materials on law with a desire to enlighten the public. He is also on the board of companies and non government organisations. Among others, he is serving as a member of the Advisory Committee for Law Clinics Partnership for Reforming Pre-trial Detention in Kuje Prison Project funded by the United States Department Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement. He is member of the Rotary Club of Abuja, Metro (RCAM), District 9125. He has been featured as the Legal Personality of the Week by This Day Newspaper (a leading national newspaper) on its September 11, 2018 edition and was featured on the NigeriaLawyer.com as the Legal Personality of the Week on November 14, 2018. He has won several honours and awards for his innovative legal practise across the world.

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