Sick leader 'loses power' in Nigeria

Nigeria's parliament recognised Vice President Goodluck Jonathan as acting head of state yesterday, more than two months after its ailing President, Umaru Yar'Adua, was admitted to hospital in Saudi Arabia with a heart condition.

The move takes Nigeria into uncharted political territory and does not end the uncertainty over who rules the nation.

Motions backed by both chambers enabled Mr Jonathan to pass legislation and act as commander of the armed forces until Mr Yar'Adua can resume his duties. But the constitution makes no provision for parliament to take such a step, saying the President must make a written declaration before such a transfer of powers can take place.