Constitution Review: Senate Throws Out 6-Year Single Tenure, Autonomy For Local Councils
It was not a surprising decision as the debate last week showed which way the lawmakers would swing.
On resumption of plenary this week, the lawmakers engaged in a clause by clause vote of areas for review in the 1999 constitution, an engagement which lasted for almost five hours.
They however adopted clause 9 of the draft bill which empowers the national assembly to make an entirely new constitution for the country.
They also adopted section 3a of the draft which rejects the president’s assent on the amended constitution before taking effect.
However, the lawmakers rejected autonomy for local governments, a move that comes across as surprising because many lawmakers during the constitutional review debate last week appeared to be favourably disposed to autonomy for local governments as 59 lawmakers voted for local government autonomy, while 38 voted against bearing in mind that 73 votes are needed for any clause to be passed.
The Senators also rejected the inclusion of the Attorney General of the Federation for first line charge and the separation of the office of the attorney general from the minister of justice.
In a vote that was taken twice, the lawmakers voted against the removal of prisons from the exclusive list.
The senators also endorsed life pension for the president and deputy president of the senate as well as the speaker and deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.
The recommendation that a bill automatically becomes law if the president fails to assent to it after 30 days of transmission was also approved.
However clause 4 of the bill caused controversy on the floor of the senate.
The committee recommended alteration of section 29 of the constitution that deals with the manner of renunciation of citizenship.
The constitution states that full age means eighteen years and above and the committee proposed a removal of part b of the clause which states that any woman that is married shall be deemed to be of full age.
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