Senate to strip President power of assent:Constitution amendment

, Senator Ike Ekweremadu
, Senator Ike Ekweremadu

According to  a report by Daily sun, Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu who spoke at the ongoing Senate committee on constitution review retreat holding in Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos said since former President Goodluck Jona­than did not sign the Fourth Alteration Bill into law, which strips the president of powers to veto any bill, it will be reconsidered with fresh inputs.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has revealed plans by the Senate committee on constitution review to strip President Muhammadu Buhari of powers to assent the on go­ing constitution amendment.

He said: “A bill to amend any portion of the con­stitution is not an ordinary bill. It is the only bill that requires the two-thirds majority of each Chamber of the National Assembly to pass in the first instance. It is also the only bill that requires the approval of two-thirds of the States Assembly to pass.

“Presidential veto of a bill to amend the consti­tution makes jest of the philosophy of sovereignty, which is that power belongs to the people, and that the people exercise this sovereignty through their representatives in parliament. “Nigerians have argued, and rightly so, that the Constitution would have made explicit prescrip­tions on how such veto could be reversed, if it were the expectation of the framers of the Constitu­tion for one man or woman to veto a constitution amendment,” he said.

Also the committee is set to introduce a fresh amendment that would guarantee the decentralization of the Nigerian police and consequently break the age-long control of policing by the federal government. Ekweremadu said although the campaign for state police failed in the last constitution amendment exercise, it had the possibility of sailing through in the ongoing process as several developments had taken place between then and now. Meanwhile, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) have condemned the proposed life pension and immunity for National Assembly leaders. While SERAP described the demands as gross injustice and double jeopardy for millions of Nigerian pensioners, who continued to be denied the fruit of their labour at their old age, Femi Falana said the plan is insensitive, irrational and immoral.


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