During Tuesday’s plenary, Senate President Ahmad Lawan announced that the Senate would be conducting an investigation into the 19 Constitution Alteration Bills that were rejected by retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria.
In January, the National Assembly transmitted a total of 35 Constitutional Alteration bills to the President for approval, but last Friday, Buhari only assented to 16 of the bills.
One of the most notable bills that Buhari approved was the Fifth Alteration Bill No. 6, which grants financial independence to state Houses of Assembly and the Judiciary.
Among the bills rejected by the President was the Fifth Alteration Bill No. 24, which sought an amendment to the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution to allow the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly to summon the President and governors to answer questions on matters within their jurisdiction.
Another rejected bill was Alteration Bill No. 7, which aimed to amend the Constitution’s provisions to ensure compliance with legislative summonses.
The Fifth Alteration Bill No. 29 was also rejected, which aimed to amend the 1999 Constitution to provide for a state of the nation and state-of-the-state address by the President and Governor. Additionally, the Fifth Alteration Bill No. 22 was rejected, which sought to alter the Constitution’s provisions to specify the period within which the President or governor of a state must present the Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly or House of Assembly.
Furthermore, Bill No. 30 was rejected, which sought to amend the Constitution’s provisions to include former heads of the National Assembly in the Council of State. Bill No. 14 was also rejected, which aimed to amend the Constitution to transfer Fingerprints, Identification, and Criminal Records from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent Legislative List.
During the plenary session, Lawan emphasized that out of the 35 Constitution Amendment bills sent, 16 were approved, while 19 were rejected. He stated that they would investigate why those bills were rejected, as a lot of resources were invested in the process. The Senate would continue to engage with the executive and scrutinize the bills to see if any issues could be resolved within a short period. However, if the problems were too complex, they would defer the matter to the 10th Assembly.
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