18 Mar 2010

Nigeria's acting president dissolves cabinet

2:40 pm on 18 March 2010

Nigeria's acting president Goodluck Jonathan has dissolved the federal cabinet, barely a month after taking up the job.

Information minister Dora Akunyili said the acting president gave no reason for the decision.

"There is no vacuum as permanent secretaries will take charge. I will also hand over to my permanent secretary tomorrow," she added.

Mr Jonathan took office as acting head of state on 9 February after parliament voted to force ailing President Umaru Yar'Adua to hand over power until he was well enough to return to work.

Mr Yar'Adua went to Saudi Arabia for treatment in November last year and, despite returning to Nigeria recently, has not been seen in public, the BBC reports.

The cabinet was picked by Mr Yar'Adua and correspondents say Mr Jonathan is now trying to stamp his own authority.