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Published On: Wed, Apr 18th, 2018

Senate passes 12 constitution alteration bills, seeks President’s assent

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Senate President, Bukola Saraki

Senate President, Bukola Saraki

By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu

The Senate on Tuesday passed into law 12 bills out of the Constitution (Fourth) Alteration Bills, 2018, and resolved to transmit them to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent.
This is to enable institutions of government prepare for immediate implementation of policies and programmes pursuant to the provisions.
While awaiting the resolution of some the State Houses of Assembly on some of the bills forwarded to them by the National Assembly, the Senate resolved to process the bills that have met the requirements of the provisions of Section 9 of the Constitution and passed in line with the Authentication Act.
The bills passed include; Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 2 (Authorization of Expenditure in absence of Appropriation); Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 4 (Financial Autonomy of State legislatures); Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 8 (The Legislature);
Others are 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);
Others are; Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 20 (Submission from the Judiciary); Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 21 (Determination of Pre-Election Matters); Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 22 (Consequential Amendment on Civil Defence); Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 24 (Procedure for Overriding Presidential Veto in Constitutional Alteration);
Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 27 (Reduction of Age for Election); and Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 28 (Time Line for the Presentation of Appropriation Bill);
This followed the motion moved by deputy senate president, Senator Ike Ekweremadu (Enugu West) which was co- sponsored by 49 other senators.
Recalls that Thirty-three (33) Bills seeking to alter various provisions of the Constitution were presented at the floor of the Senate and the House of Representatives on Wednesday, 26th July and Thursday, 27th July, 2017 respectively;
While the Senate approved Twenty-nine (29) of the Bills with the required 2/3 majority of members, the House of Representatives approved (Twenty-one (21) of the Bills with not less than 2/3 majority;
The two Houses approved seventeen (17) of the bills without difference and were transmitted to the State Houses of Assembly for their resolution; while 4 (Four) were approved with amendment and have been committed to a Conference Committee for further action in line with the Senate and House of Representatives Rules;
The senate acknowledged that thirty-five State Houses of Assembly – Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara, have forwarded their resolution on most of the Bills;
The senate resolved that while awaiting the resolution of some of the State Houses of Assembly on some of the Bills, the Bills that have met the requirements of the provisions of Section 9 of the Constitution and passed, be processed in line with the Acts Authentication Act and transmitted to the President for his assent, to enable institutions of government prepare for immediate implementation of policies and programmes pursuant to the provisions.

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