August 25, 2020

Constitution Review: Senate commences process, calls for memoranda

The Senate

The Senate

…As Power Devolution, State Creation, Electoral Reform, Nigerian Police and Nigerian Security Architecture, Judicial Reforms, others top Agenda

By Henry Umoru

THE 58-member Constitution Review Committee of the Senate to handle all bills seeking alterations in the provisions of the 1999 Constitution has commenced the process, with a call for Memoranda.

Consequently, the Committee has asked the general public, Executive and Judicial bodies, Civil Society Organizations, professional bodies as well as other interest groups to submit memoranda or proposals for further alteration(s) of the 1999 Constitution.

As Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution chaired by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo Agege, All Progressives Congress, APC, Delta Central commenced its work, power devolution, State Creation, Electoral Reform to strengthen INEC to deliver transparently credible free and fair elections; Nigerian Police and Nigerian Security Architecture, Comprehensive Judicial Reforms, others top Agenda.

In a statement yesterday by Senator Omo- Agege, also to be in the front burner of discourse are Gender Equality for women and girls; the Federal Structure and Power Devolution;  Local Government/ Local Government Autonomy; Public Revenue, Fiscal Federalism and Revenue Allocation; Socio-economic and cultural rights as contained in Chapter 2 of the Constitution; Strengthening the Independence of oversight institutions and agencies created by the Constitution or pursuant to an Act of the National Assembly.

Others are Residency and Indigene Provisions; Immunity  and the National Assembly.

Recall that the Senate had in February this year, constituted a 56-member Constitution Review Committee to handle all bills seeking alterations in the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

The 56-member committee, announced by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, consisted  of eight principal officers to serve as steering committee within the larger committee.

Lawan had also appointed a Senator from each of the 36 states of the Federation and two senators from each of the six geo-political zones.

The 56-member committee with the Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, as Chairman, have  the Senate Leader, Abdullahi Yahaya; Deputy Senate Leader, Professor Robert Ajayi Boroffice; Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe; Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha; Minority Whip, Senator Philip Tanimu Aduda; and Deputy Minority Whip, Senator Sahabi Alhaji Yau as members.

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Other members are Senators Theodore Orji (PDP Abia Central), Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (APC Adamawa Central), Stella Oduah (PDP Anambra North), Albert Bassey Akpan (PDP Akwa Ibom North-East) and Dauda Jika (APC Bauchi Central).

Others are  Senators Mohammed Adamu Aleiro (APC Kebbi Central), Smart Adeyemi (APC Kogi West), Sadiq Umar (APC Kwara North), Oluremi Tinubu (APC Lagos Central), Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West), Sani Musa (APC Niger East), Ibikunle Amosun (APC Ogun Central), Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP Ondo South), Bashiru Ajibola (APC Osun Central) and Teslim Folarin (APC Oyo Central).

They also included Senators Degi Eremienyo (APC Bayelsa East), Gabriel Suswam (PDP Benue North East), Abubakar Kyari (APC Borno North), Gershom Bassey (PDP Cross River South), James Manager (PDP Delta South), Sam Egwu (PDP Ebonyi North), Mathew Urhoghide (PDP Edo South) and Bamidele Opeyemi (APC Ekiti Central).

The committee had also listed Senators Dimka Hezekiah Ayuba (APC Plateau Central), George Sekibo (PDP Rivers East), Aliyu Wammako (APC Sokoto North), Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (APC Taraba Central), Ibrahim Gaidam (APC Yobe East) and Mohammed Hassan Gusau (PDP Zamfara Central).

Those representing the zones on the committee are Senators Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC Kebbi Sout ) and Ibrahim Shekarau (APC Kano Central ) for the North-West geo-political zone.

For the North East Geopolitical Zone are Senators Kashim Shettima (APC Borno Central) and Lawal Gumau (APC Bauchi South).

Senators Lilian Ekwunife (PDP Anambra Central) and Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North), are to represent the South East Geopolitical zone on the committee.

Senators Eyinkenyi Etim (PDP Akwa Ibom South) and late Rose Oko (PDP Cross River North) are for South-South zone on the committee, Abdulfatahi Buhari (APC Oyo North) and Biodun Olujimi (PDP Ekiti South) are for South West geo-political zone.

For the North Central geo political zone are Senators Umar Tanko Almakura (APC Nasarawa North) and Yakubu Oseni (APC Kogi Central.

Recall that Senator Omo- Agege had said last week that the report of the Constitution Review Committee would be presented to the Senate at plenary  in the first quarter of 2021.

The Deputy President of the Senate who spoke at  the first meeting of the Ad hoc Committee of the Senate on the review of the 1999 Constitution after its inauguration on 12th of February, 2020 by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, the Deputy President of the Senate promised that the process would be all inclusive and with full participation.