Ministers who resigned over political ambitions, according to Femi Falana, a human rights advocate and senior lawyer, can only be reappointed following Senate confirmation.
On Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari urged his cabinet members pursuing elective seats to submit their resignations by May 16.
Following the decision, some ministers tendered their resignations, while the president met with the departing cabinet members earlier on Friday.
Attorney-General Abubakar Malami and Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige were among the cabinet members present at the valedictory session.
Ngige, however, declared his resignation from the 2023 presidential contest on Friday in order to focus on his job.
Malami is also said to have dropped out of the run for governor of Kebbi.
Falana said in a statement that there were allegations that Malami and Nigige had revoked their resignation letters during the farewell meeting.
Such a withdrawal, he said, is “illegal” because it “violates section 306 (2) of the Constitution,” which states 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 statement reads.
“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.”