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Constitution amendment: Senate transmits 12 bills to Buhari for assent

Fred Itua, Abuja

More than two years after it commenced its periodic constitution review exercise, the Senate, yesterday, transmitted 12 constitution alteration bills to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent. The bills are part of the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

One of the bills deals with the restriction of tenure of president and governors. The resolution followed a motion by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu and 49 others. Ekweremadu presided. Leader of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, read it on his behalf.

Ekweremadu, in the motion, said the bills when assented to by Buhari, would enable institutions of government to prepare for immediate implementation of policies and programmes.

The National Assembly had in the course of the constitution amendment process, adopted the bill on restriction of tenure of president and governors.

The same bill seeks to ban anyone who succeeds a president or a governor and completes the tenure of such president or governor from contesting for that same office more than once.

Lawan, while  presenting the motion, gave a list of the bills that had been approved for onward transmission.

“The following Constitution Alteration Bills have satisfied the provisions of Section 9(2) of the Constitution for their passage into law: Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 2 (Authorisation of Expenditure in absence of Appropriation).

“Others are Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 4 (Financial Autonomy of state legislators), Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 8 (The Legislature), Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 9 (Political Parties and Electoral Matters), Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 15 (The Nigeria Police Force), and Constitution (Fourth Alteration).

“Bill No 16 (Restriction of Tenure of President and Governor), Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 20 (Submission from the Judiciary), Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 21 (Determination of Pre-Election Matters), Constitution (Fourth Alteration) were also approved.

“Also, Bill No 22 (Consequential Amendment on Civil Defence), Constitution (Fourth Alteration), Bill No 24 (Procedure for Overriding Presidential Veto in Constitution Alteration), Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 27 (Reduction of Age for Election). Equally Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 28 (Timeline for Presentation of Appropriation Bill) was approved,” Lawan read.

He further stressed that while the National Assembly awaited resolution of State Houses of Assembly on other bills, it felt it was necessary for the ones already passed and agreed on to be assented to by Buhari.

He said 33 bills seeking to alter constitutional provisions were presented in the two chambers of the National Assembly on July 26 and July 27, 2017 respectively.

He added that, both chambers approved 17 of the bills without any difference and were transmitted to the State Houses of Assembly for their concurrence in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

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