CONSTITUTION REVIEW: Senate Buries Agitation for Restructuring.

CONSTITUTION REVIEW: Senate Buries Agitation for Restructuring.

Senate may have effectively “killed” raging agitation for restructuring after rejecting critical components of what agitators of restructuring have clamoured (for) for years.

Senate on Wednesday concluded work on the 4th Amendment of the 1999 Constitution voting against “Devolution of Power”, in a bill which seeks to give more legislative powers to component 

Forty six lawmakers voted in favour of the bill while forty eighty others in an electronic voting kicked strongly against it with one lawmaker abstaining.

Senate action would be disappointing to many who believe devolution of power is a necessary ingredient for Nigeria to practice true federalism.

The upper legislative chamber also turned down proposal to delete the Land Use Act from the constitution.

The removal of the Land Use Act from the constitution is to allow a flexible arrangement that can subject  it to regular process of Amendment.

It would invariably grants states greater control of their land resources which many quickly interpret to mean “resource control”.

The hope of women to secure 35% Affirmative action especially in the political sphere as regards appointments suffered severe set back
as lawmakers shot down the proposal.

The lawmakers also reject a bill which seeks to guarantee a married woman’s right  to choose either her indigenship by birth or by marriage for the purpose of appointment or election.

Meanwhile lawmakers vote unanimously in favour bill which seeks  to include former Senate Presidents and Speakers of House of Representatives in the composition of the Council of State.

They also vote strongly in support of alteration which seeks to provide them immunity in respect of words spoken or written at plenary sessions or committee meetings.

The upper legislative chamber however removed the lawmaking powers of President Mohammadu Buhari and his executive arm.

It pinches more on the powers of the President when it voted overwhelmingly in support of alterations to section 58, 59 and 100 of the constitution to resolve the impasse where the President or Governor neglects to signify assent to a bill from the National Assembly.

The President now has a timeframe of 30 days to forward to the Senate names of nominees for confirmation as ministers.

He must do so attaching to each nominee a portfolio.

Senate however approved ministerial slot for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to settle a constitutional debate that has lasted over 40 years.

But while Senate approved independent candidature to expand the political space, it empowered Independent Electoral Commission (INEC)  to deregister political parties for breach of registration requirements and poor performance at the polls.

Senate took other far reaching decisions in what it considers as a landmark achievement in barely two years.

It separates the office of the Attorney General from the office of the Minister of Justice.

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