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Reps okay constitution amendment

Posted by By TONY ICHEKU/JAMES OJO, Abuja on 2008/04/25 | Views: 610 |

Reps okay constitution amendment

After a protracted debate on Thursday, the House of Representatives adopted a motion to set up a National Assembly Joint Special Ad-Hoc Committee to “alter” the 1999 constitution

• Approve joint review committee

After a protracted debate on Thursday, the House of Representatives adopted a motion to set up a National Assembly Joint Special Ad-Hoc Committee to “alter” the 1999 constitution

House Leader, Hon Tunde Akogun, in his motion had urged his colleagues to understand the necessity of an early commencement of the amendment of the constitution in order to drive the process to “a logical conclusion, and thus achieve the purpose of the review and amendment” within the tenure of the current session of the National Assembly. He noted that the process requires not only two-third majority of the National Assembly but also similar consent from the state Houses of Assembly.

Akogun, argued that since the coming into effect of the 1999 constitution certain provisions have been observed as requiring amendments.
He said: “Several decisions of different superior courts of records have raised the need to amend some provisions of the 1999 constitution.

“The 1999 constitution has, however, been variously identified as having defects and inadequacies and therefore replete with inconsistencies. Very forceful arguments have equally been proffered against the veracity of its preamble, whether, indeed, it was the Nigerian people that actually resolved to have the constitution. Such issues and others have agitated the generality of Nigerians.
“A review, therefore, would afford Nigerians the opportunity to give themselves a truly befitting constitution.”

He made references to the several failed attempts to amend the constitution, including two unsuccessful attempts by the National Assembly and expressed concerns that the report of the National Political Reform Committee on the review of the constitution, submitted in the last administration, is currently before the National Assembly and yet to be considered.

Akogun said that one of such previous attempts to review conflicting sections of the constitution, during former President Olusgeun Obasanjo’s administration, nearly threw the country into chaos. He urged his colleagues to write their names in gold by achieving the amendment in the current session of the legislature.

In his contribution, House Minority Leader, Hon Mohammed Ali Ndume, called on his colleagues to rise to the occasion and participate fully, saying that an amendment of the constitution was long overdue. He argued that the smooth working of the country’s democracy was being hampered by ambiguities in the existing document.

Hon Emeka Ihedioha, Chief Whip of the House, in his contribution, supported the move for amendment, arguing that the existing constitution does not represent the will of Nigerians.
Among others, he stressed that areas, such as the Land Use Decree of 1977 and subsequent amendments; devolution of powers, principles of derivation and revenue allocation; modern electoral practices, including time-table for election and staggered elections, should be examined by the committee.
In Akogun’s motion, entitled “Review of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the House substituted “review” for “alter.”

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Comments (3)

Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.