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CONSTITUTION AMENDMENT: JONATHAN YET TO SEND PROPOSAL FOR REMOVAL OF IMMUNITY CLAUSE -UBANI

By NBF News
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House of Representatives Committee responsible for the review of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (as amended) yesterday declared that President Goodluck Jonathan has not sent any proposal to it on the removal of the immunity clause for State Governors.

Chairman of the sub-Media Committee of the Constitution Review Committee (CRC) Hon. Eziuche Ubani stated this while briefing journalists on the level of progress made by the Committee and the impending agenda on the constitutional cum legislative assignment.

He made the clarification following stiff agitations from the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) against the planned move by Jonathan to submit a proposal to remove the immunity clause.

He said: 'This is not the first time we have had such reaction on the likely removal from the Governor's Forum. There is nothing before this committee on that. We have not gotten proposals from the president. So we don't know what anybody is reacting to', Ubani stated.

He further pledged that the Review Committee would be people-oriented in consideration of the anticipated proposal when it is eventually presented by either Mr. President or any other interested person or group. He also disclosed that the Committee would be holding a retreat on the review in Port Harcourt between May 24 and 27, 2012, noting that various stakeholders including politicians, professionals, civil society groups and others would be involved in the retreat.

The sub-committee Chairman said that committee the would do a workplan on the review and would allow the public to make as much inputs as they could, adding, 'we will respond to the wishes of the people'.

He further said, ' be that as it may, the attitude we have in this committee and indeed the House is that we will respond to the issues of the people. The Governor's Forum is a constituency and they also represent the people. The constitution belongs to the people and is supposed to guide the people. What we intend to do is to respond to the bigger sentiments of the people of Nigeria and not basically any group.'

'The president will have to send a proposal to the National Assembly, I think we can speak very specifically on those when the time comes. As it is, there is nothing before us', he pointed out. On clamours for state creation and request for constitutional listing of new local government areas (LGAs) created in some states, the review committee confirmed receipt of a deluge of such proposals. Ubani said consideration will be given to all requests.

'We are driven by proposals before us. If in the course of our work we receive proposals for the listing of those local government areas, we will indeed consider them. 'There are quite so many of them (referring to state creation requests) and we will be guided by the constitution in looking at those requests', he assured.