By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—THE House of Representatives has adopted a new method to send the amended versions of the 1999 Constitution in different related bills to President Muhammadu Buhari, for assent.
The new method, according to the House, is to avoid the mistakes by the 7th Assembly where, after concluding the constitution amendment, a single bill was sent to the then President Goodluck Jonathan who incidentally withheld his assent based on the alleged error on a particular section, thus thwarting the efforts and resources expended on the exercise.
The present method, which was the suggestion of Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee on the Review of 1999 Constitution and Deputy Speaker of the House, Yusuf Lasun, has received acceptance and commendations of members.
The committee, according to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Speaker, Wole Oladimeji, had concluded plans to carry out the alteration piece meal instead of codifying it in a single bill which would be easy to trash, if there was one or two errors.
According to the statement, with the new system to be embarked upon before the end of the 8th assembly, all the sections of the constitution that needed to be amended would have been concluded and assented to by the President.
This development, according to the statement, would produce about four or more bills to be presented to the President for assent.
The deputy speaker explained that the reason to have up to four bills was to correct what the committee had suffered in the past, when the exercise was concluded but could not be assented to by the President due to one reason or the other.
He said: “The resources and efforts were committed to the review of the constitution, members of the committee and all the professionals hired to assist travelled round the country to collate views of Nigerians and at the end of the day, the report of the exercise was thrown out and ended in the dust bin, this is not good for the nation.”