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Polls: Senate to vote on constitution Tuesday

By Inalegwu Shaibu
ABUJA—The Senate has resolved to vote next Tuesday on the second amendment to the 1999 constitution which will allow the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to hold 2011 election in April.

The Senate’s resolution followed the presentation of a report on the second alteration to the 1999 Constitution by the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba.

Voting on the bill which was earlier scheduled to take place yesterday was stalled due to the absence of Chairman of the Constitution Review Committee, Senator Ike Ekweremadu.

Presenting the report to the Senate, Senator Ndoma-Egba urged the senators to fast-track its consideration to enable INEC ample time to conduct free, fair and credible election in 2011.

Senate President, Senator David Mark, who ruled on the report at the conclusion of debate, said voting would take place on Tuesday.

The proposed law requires INEC to conduct election not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days, contrary to the 90 days and 30 days to the handover date being canvassed by the senator.

Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Housing and Urban development which investigated the sale of Federal Government houses in Lagos and Abuja, has recommended the immediate dissolution of Presidential Implementation Committee, PIC, over alleged mismanagement of the sales.

The Senator Ikechukwu Obiora-led committee which presented the report on the sale of the houses to the Senate, also recommended the immediate sack of  secretary of the PIC.

The report also accused the PIC of granting undue favours to some Nigerians by selling some of the choice houses to them under the clause of notable Nigerians.

In the report, Senator Obiora lamented that the PIC denied the committee access to the records of its transactions, thereby shielding the so-called notable Nigerians from being thoroughly investigated.

The committee noted that some of the PIC did not remit all the proceeds to government, as part of them were lodged in separate individual accounts.


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