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Electoral reform: Senate to adopt Uwais panel report

By Emmanuel Aziken

Abuja – The Senate may have buckled to public pressure and is to adopt the report of the Justice Mohammed Uwais Committee on electoral reform as a major working tool for its review of the 1999 constitution, Senate sources disclosed, weekend.

Justice Uwais (rtd.) who chaired the electoral reform committee constituted by President Umaru Yar’Adua is to expand details of the committee’s report at the national retreat of the committee scheduled for October 8 and 9 in Kaduna, it was further disclosed.

The invitation to Justice Uwais, it was learnt, was a way of assuaging popular feelings including that of Senators who felt that the efforts of the committee were unduly diluted by the Presidency.

“Justice Uwais has been invited to educate the Senators on the ingredients of his committee’s report so that Senators could be better informed,’’ one committee source said weekend.

Meanwhile, the committee, Vanguard learnt, is moving ahead to ensure that the first amendments of the constitution are passed through the Senate in early February.

The committee headed by the Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, Vanguard gathered, has constituted a steering committee with Senator Ekweremadu; Senate Leader, Teslim Folarin; Senators Victor Ndoma Egba, Mohammed Mana and Kanti Bello as members.

The steering committee provides the general guideline for the operations of the constitution review process and also approves the budget of the committee.

To further expedite the process, the committee has also invited the Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly to participate in the national retreat.

The invitation of the Speakers, it was gathered, was to ensure that whatever product was achieved from the National Assembly received expedited attention at the state Assemblies.


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