• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Constitution Review: Senate okays 35 amendments

The Senate has approved 35 items out of the 44 constitutional alteration bills forwarded to the state Houses of Assembly for concurrence.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 24 out of the 36 assemblies voted for the 35 items with the complete exclusion of financial and administrative autonomies for local government councils.

The Senate’s resolution to this effect followed a motion on Tuesday, moved by Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele on behalf of the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who chaired the Senate Committee on Constitution Review.

The 35 items read by Bamidele were: the Constitution (Fifth Alteration), Bill No. 3 (Change of Names of Afikpo North and Afikpo South Local Government Areas (Ebonyi)), the Constitution (Fifth Alteration), and Bill No. 4 (Change of Name of Kunchi Local Government Area (Kano State).

“Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 5 (Change of Names of Egbado North and Egbado South Local Government Areas (Ogun) and Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 7 (Correction of the Name of Atisbo Local Government Area (Oyo).

Others were: Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 8 (Correction of Name of Obia/Akpor Local Government Area (Rivers);
Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 9 (Financial Autonomy of State Legislatures and State Judiciary).

“Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 10 (Enforcement of Legislative Summon); Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 11 (Inauguration of Members-Elect), Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 21 (Deletion of reference in the Constitution to the provisions of the Criminal Code, Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Act, Criminal Procedure Code, or Evidence Act).

“Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 22 (Provision for Intervening Events in the Computation of Tine for the Determination of Pre-Election Petitions, Election Petitions, and Appeals Therefrom)”

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“Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 24 (Expansion of the Interpretation of Judicial Office); Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 25 (Appointment of Secretary of the National Judicial Council);

“Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 29 (Devolution of Powers (Airports); Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 30 (Devolution of Powers (Fingerprints, Identification, and Criminal Records)

“Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 31 (Devolution of Powers (Correctional Services), Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 32 (Devolution of Powers (Railways)

The upper chamber accordingly directed the Clerk to the National Assembly to transmit the 35 bills that have so far met the requirement of Section 9(2) of the Constitution to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent in line with the provisions of the Acts Authentication Act.

It also urged the following state houses of assembly—Gombe, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, and Zamfara—that were yet to forward their resolutions on the bills to do so in fulfilment of their constitutionally imposed legislative obligation to the Constitution amendment process.

Some of the nine bills that failed passage at the State Houses of Assembly were the ones that sought “the abrogation of the state joint local government account and the provision of a special account into which shall be paid all allocations due to local government councils from the Federation Account and from the government of the state, and for related matters.”