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Nigeria Gets revised Constitution As NASS Receives Final Copy Of Constitution

Source: EMMA UCHE - thewillnigeria.com


ABUJA, July 07, (THEWILL) - At last the country gets a revised constitution as the formal submission of the resolutions of State Houses of Assembly is made to the leadership of the National Assembly today.

The ceremony comes less than a month after the National Assembly handed over the first amended 1999 Constitution to the State Houses of Assembly on June 15 through the President of the Senate David Mark.

At the ceremony, Mark assured that what was not captured in the amendment process would be taken into consideration during the second amendment.

The presentation of the first amendment Bill 2010, which is expected to take place at the conference Hall of the new building of the House of Representatives is to be carried out by the Conference of Speakers.

The major highlight with the development, is putting to rest the controversy between the Senate and House of Representatives over which version of the reviewed Constitution that was submitted to the States Houses of Assembly.

Information pieced together point to the direction of a near wholesome adoption of most sections of the Constitution amended by the two chambers of the National Assembly.

It was however gathered that some of the State Houses of Assembly rejected the amendment made by the National Assembly with respect to cross carpeting of elected Legislators from the party on which platform they get elected.

Curiously, some of the State Assemblies were believed to have rejected a section that was amended to grant the State legislature financial autonomy from State Executives with a view to allow them greater independence in the passage of laws particularly their oversight function.

The Senate President had explained that Section 9 of the 1999 empowers the National Assembly to alter the provisions of the Constitution and also provide the procedure adding however that the amendment of any of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution with the exception of Section 8, 9 and Chapter IV) requires that a bill be proposed and passed by at least two-thirds majority of the members of the National Assembly supported by a resolution of two-thirds of the State Houses of Assembly.

Senator Mark further explained that views and perspectives on other issues that are not captured in amended Constitution as passed by the National Assembly would be taken care of during the second amendment process.

In the words of Senator Mark; "This is to be expected. The business of Constitution review is not a one off enterprise. It is continuous. I will therefore urge all those who feel that the present amendment to the Constitution has not captured their concerns to show understanding and wait for the next phase of the amendment."

The Senate President said that the National Assembly Committees on the Review of the Constitution made sure that the Speakers and other relevant stakeholders participated fully in the process particularly during zonal public hearings and the various retreats of the Committees.

Chairman of the Conference of Speakers Hon. Istifanus Gbana had while receiving a copy of the First Amendment to the 1999 Constitution on behalf of the Speakers of the Houses of Assembly of the states, assured that the legislature at the State level would do a thorough job adding that Nigerians would not be disappointed.