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National Assembly Here's all you need to know about the Constitution Amendment

Ninety-five Senators voted on 33 sections of the 1999 Constitution on Wednesday, July 26, 2016.

  • Published:
The Nigerian senate during plenary play

The Nigerian senate during plenary

(Pulse)

It no longer news that both chambers of the National Assembly are amending  parts of the 1999 Constitution.

The move, according to Senate President Bukola Saraki, was to reflect the present realities.

Ninety-five Senators voted on 33 sections of the 1999 Constitution on Wednesday, July 26, 2016.

Twenty-nine (29) amendments were approved by the Senate while the lawmakers rejected four (4).

Pulse lists all amendments made by the Senate.

1.Composition of Members of the Council of State – This bill seeks to amend the Third Schedule to include former Presidents of the Senate and Speakers of the House of Representatives in the composition of the Council of State.

Votes: All 95 Senators endorsed the amendment. It was adopted.

2. Authorisation of Expenditure – This seeks to alter sections 82 and 122 of the Constitution to reduce the period within which the President or Governor of a state may authorise the withdrawal of monies from the consolidated revenue fund in the absence of an appropriation act from 6 months to 3 months.

Votes: 93 lawmakers approved this amendment, one objected while one abstained. It was adopted.

3. Devolution of Powers – This seeks to alter the Second Schedule, Part I and II to move certain items to the Concurrent Legislative List to give more legislative powers to States. It also delineates the extent to which the federal legislature and state assemblies can legislate on the items that have been moved to the Concurrent Legislative List.

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4. Financial Autonomy of State Legislatures – This alteration seeks to provide for the funding of the Houses of Assembly of States directly from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State.

Votes: 90 Senators approved, 4 objected while one abstained. It was abducted.

5. Distributable Pool Account – This Bill seeks to alter section 162 of the Constitution to abrogate the State Joint Local Government Accounts and empower each Local Government Council to maintain its own special account into which all allocations due to the Local Government Council shall be directly paid from the Federation Account and from the Government of the State and also make provisions for savings in the Federation Account before distribution to other levels of Government.

Votes: 84 Senators approved, 8 objected while one abstained.

6. Local Government – The alterations here are aimed at strengthening local government administration in Nigeria by guaranteeing the democratic existence, funding, and tenure of local government councils.

Votes: 88 approved, 7 objected while one abstained.

7. State creation and boundary adjustment – This seeks to alter section 8 of the Constitution to ensure that only democratically elected local government councils participate in the process of State creation and boundary adjustment. It also removed ambiguities in the extant provisions to enhance clarity with respect to the procedure for state creation.

Votes: 47 accepted, 48 rejected. It was rejected.

8. Immunity for the Legislature – This alteration seeks among other things to alter sections 4, 51, 67, 68, 93 and 109 of the Constitution to provide immunity for members of the legislature in respect of words spoken or written at plenary sessions or at Committee proceedings; institutionalize legislative bureaucracy in the Constitution like the Civil Service Commission in the executive and the Judicial Service Commission in the judiciary; and, obligate the President to attend a joint meeting of the National Assembly once a year to deliver a state of the nation address.

ALSO READ: Senate passes ‘Not Too Young To Run’ bill

Votes: 93 accepted, 2 rejected. It was accepted

9. Political Parties and Electoral Matters – This seeks to alter section 134 & 179 to provide sufficient time for INEC to conduct bye-elections; and section 225 to empower the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to de-register political parties for non-fulfillment of certain conditions such as breach of registration requirements and failure to secure/win either a Presidential, Governorship, Local Government chairmanship or a seat in the National or State Assembly or a Councillorship.

Votes: 90 Senators accepted this amendment

10. Presidential Assent – This amendment seeks to alter sections 58, 59 and 100 to resolve the impasse where the President or Governor neglects to signify his/her assent to a bill from the National Assembly or withhold such assent. This is to enable timely passage of laws for good governance.

Votes: 95 Senators accepted this amendment

11. Time-frame for submitting the Names Ministerial or Commissioners Nominees – This Bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to set a time-frame (30 days after assuming taking over power) within which the President or a Governor shall forward to the Senate or State House of Assembly names of nominees for confirmation as Ministers or Commissioners; provide for attachment of portfolio and thirty-five percent affirmative action for women.

Votes: 75 Senators approved 30-day time-frame for the president/governor to submit names to either the National Assembly or State Assemblies.

Votes: 49 Senators rejected the 35 percent affirmative action for women. 84 Senators approved the submission of commissioners nominees with their portfolios

12. Appointment of Minister from the FCT – The Bill seeks to alter section 147 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the appointment of a Minister from the FCT, Abuja to ensure that the FCT is represented in the Executive Council of the Federation.

Votes: 77 Senators approved while 12 lawmakers rejected.

13. Change of Names of some Local Government Councils – This Bill seeks to alter the Constitution to provide for a change in the names of some Local Government Councils and the definition of the boundary of the FCT, Abuja.

Votes: 82 Senators accepted.

14. Independent Candidacy – This seeks to alter sections 65, 106, 131, and 177 of the Constitution. This is aimed at expanding the political space and broadening the options for the electorate by allowing for independent candidacy in all elections.

Votes: 82 Senators accepted this amendment.

15. The Police – This Bill seeks to alter the Constitution in sections 34, 35, 39, 214, 215, 216 and the Third Schedule to change the name of the Police from “Nigeria Police Force” to “Nigeria Police” in order to reflect their core mandate.

Votes: 82 Senators accepted.

16. Restriction of Tenure of the President and Governor – This Bill seeks to restrict a person who was sworn-in as President or Governor to complete the term of the elected President from contesting for the same office for more than one term.

Votes: 88 Senators accepted.

17. Separation of the Office of Accountant-General – This Bill seeks to alter section 84 of the Constitution to establish the office of the Accountant-General of the Federal Government separate from the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

Votes: 89 Senators approved.

18. Office of the Auditor-General – This Bill seeks to make the office of the Auditor-General for the Federation and for the State financially independent by placing them on first-line charges in the Consolidated Revenue funds of the Federation and of the States.

Votes: All 95 Senators approved this amendment.

19. Separation of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and of the State from the office of the Minister or Commissioner for Justice – This Bill seeks to alter sections 150, 174, 195, 211, 318 and the Third Schedule to the Constitution to separate the office of the Minister or Commissioner for Justice from that of the Attorney-General of the Federation and of states so as to create an independent office of the Attorney-General of the Federation insulated from partisanship. It also seeks to redefine the role of the Attorney-General, provide a fixed tenure, provide the age and qualification for appointment and also for a more stringent process for the removal of the Attorney General.

Votes: 95 Senators approved.

20. Judiciary – This bill seeks to alter the composition of the National Judicial Council, empower Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal to hear certain applications in chambers thereby enhancing the speedy dispensation of justice

Votes: 95 Senators passed this amendment

21. Determination of Pre-Election Matters – This Bill seeks to among other things make provisions for timelines for the determination of pre-election disputes.

Votes: Passed by 95 Senators

22. Civil Defence – This Bill seeks to reflect the establishment and core functions of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. It is a consequential amendment because of the inclusion of the national security and civil defence as an item in the Exclusive Legislative List under the Second Schedule to the Constitution.

Votes: Passed by all Senators.

 

23. Citizenship and Indigeneship – This Bills seeks to alter section 25 of the Constitution to guarantee a married woman’s right to choosing either her indigeneship by birth or by marriage for the purposes of appointment or election.

Votes: 49 Senators approved, 46 rejected. It was approved.

24. Procedure for overriding Presidential veto in Constitutional Alteration – This Bill seeks to among other things provide the procedure for passing a Constitution Alteration Bill where the President withholds assent.

Votes: 87 passed this amendment.

25. Removal of certain Acts from the Constitution – This Bill seeks to alter section 315 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to remove the law-making powers of the Executive Arm of Government and delete the National Youth Service Corps Decree, the Public Complaints Commission Act, the National Security Agencies Act and the Land Use Act from the Constitution, so that they can be subject to regular process of amendment.

Votes: 89 Senators passed this amendment.

26. Investments and Securities Tribunal – This bill seeks to establish the Investments and Securities Tribunal under the Constitution.

Votes: 76 approved this amendment.

27. Reduction of Age Qualification – This Bill seeks to alter the Sections 65, 106, 131, 177 of the Constitution to reduce the age qualification for the offices of the President (35 years) and Governor (30 years) and membership of the Senate, House of Representatives, and the State Houses of Assembly.

#NotTooYoungToRun protesters at the National Assembly in Abuja play

#NotTooYoungToRun protesters at the National Assembly in Abuja

 

Vote: 86 Senators approved this amendment

28. Authorisation of Expenditure – This Bill seeks to provide for the time within which the President or Governor shall lay the Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly or House of Assembly to encourage the early presentation and passage of Appropriation Bills.

Votes: 94 Senators approved this amendment.

29. Deletion of the NYSC Decree from the Constitution – The Bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to delete the National Youth Service Corps Decree from the Constitution so that it can be subject to the regular process of amendment.

Votes: 88 Senators approved this amendment

30. Deletion of the Public Complaints Commission Act from the Constitution – The Bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to delete the Public Complaints Commission Act from the Constitution so that it can be subject to the regular process of amendment.

Votes: 90 Senators approved.

31. Deletion of the National Securities Act from the Constitution – The Bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to delete the National Securities Act from the Constitution so that it can be subject to the regular process of amendment.

Votes: 92 Senators approved.

32. Deletion of the Land Use Act from the Constitution – The Bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to delete the Land Use Act from the Constitution so that it can be subject to the regular process of amendment.

Votes: 46 passed, 44 rejected. It was approved.

33. Deletion of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria so that it can be subject to the regular process of amendment.

Votes: 73 approved this amendment.

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