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Reps to amend Section 145 this week

By Emmanuel Aziken & Inalegwu Shaibu

ABUJA—The House of Representatives will this week concur with the Senate’s amendment of Section 145 of the Constitution, giving strong footing to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan position as Acting President.

The Reps move followed pressure from Senators for swift amendment of the Constitution.

The expected passage of the amendment bill, Senators said will perfect whatever constitutional deficiencies in the National Assembly resolutions that empowered Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to the Acting President.

The Senate had on 24 February 2010 amended Sections 145 and 190 of the 1999 Constitution to compel the President and Governors to handover to their deputies in the event of a vacation failing which within 14 days the National Assembly or the State House of Assembly would move to empower the Vice-President or Deputy Governor to act in the substantive office.

The Senate according to sources had transmitted the passed bill to the House of Representatives on 1 March 2010 with a plea that the House moved with urgency to concur in order to solidify the position of Dr. Jonathan as Acting President. The urgency among Senators for the quick passage of the amendment bill, it was learnt, was to frustrate the court action taken by some activists against the National Assembly’s resolution empowering Dr. Jonathan as the Acting President.

Against the desire for urgency, Senators were last week complaining that the bill was stagnating in the House of Representatives, an action some saw as an attempt by the House leadership to defeat the quest for urgency.

“We sent it to them since 1st March but they are yet to take action on it and with all their efforts to question our resolution that could lead us to another round of crisis,” a Senator said last week.

Rep. Ita Enang, however, discountenanced such anxieties in an interview, saying that the House delay arose from the determination to do a good job on the amendment.

“We are aware that they have passed it and communicated it to us. I hope you know that we have a bill on the same subject and that our committees are working on it. We have Committees on Judiciary and the Committee on the Constitution Review”.


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