Senate to input 2014 Confab report in constitution review

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The Senate Committee on Constitution Review on Wednesday agreed to consider the report of the 2014 National Conference in its assignment.

It also promised to consider the Governor Nasir el-Rufai-led Committee on Restructuring.

Chairman of the committee and Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege made the promise while Senate President Ahmed Lawan inaugurated the committee in Abuja, the Nation reports.

The 2014 National Conference was inaugurated by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on March 17, 2014, with about 492 delegates.

Principal officers of the conference included its Chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi (rtd), Vice Chairman Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi and Dr Valerie Azinge, as Secretary.

Omo-Agege said: “In carrying out this national assignment, this committee will no doubt consider the alteration of the Sixth Schedule to make provision for new items, the establishment of National and State Houses of Assembly, Pre-election Matters Tribunal, Governorship Pre-election Matters Tribunals and Presidential Pre-election Matters Tribunal, including time limits for the disposal of all pre-election matters before the conduct of the general elections.

“We will also consider the need for devolution of power, full local government fiscal autonomy, full autonomy of the Judiciary in the area of administration of justice, youth inclusiveness in governance, gender parity or affirmative action.

“This is by no means an exhaustive list. The committee will also consider inputs from stakeholders and different interest groups across the country.

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“In addition, this committee will consider the recommendations of the 2014 Constitutional Conference and the Governor Nasir el-Rufai-led Committee on restructuring.”

Senate President Lawan said: “We expect consultations with public organisations and the civil society. These include the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as the vehicle for elections, civil society groups, the academia, the media, and indeed, the citizenry.

“This assignment needs a great deal of time, resources and expert ideas. This is so because constitutional reviews are not everyday exercises.”

Though the list earlier announced by the Senate President comprised 56 members, Lawan added Ifeanyi Ubah (Anambra South) to represent the Young Progressive Party (YPP) and Betty Apiafi.

The committee now has 58 members.

Principal officers of the Senate on the panel include Senate Leader Yahaya Abdullahi, Deputy Senate Leader Robert Ajayi Boroffice, Deputy Chief Whip Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, Minority Leader Eyinnaya Abaribe, Deputy Minority Leader Emmanuel Bwacha, Minority Whip Philip Aduda and Deputy Minority Whip Sahabi Ya’u.

Each state is represented by one senator as follows: Theodore Orji (Abia), Aishatu Ahmed Dahiru (Adamawa), Stella Oduah (Anambra), Albert Bassey (Akwa Ibom), Haliru Jika (Bauchi), Diegi Biobakara (Bayelsa) and Gabriel Suswam (Benue).

Others are: Abubakar Kyari (Borno), Gershom Bassey (Cross River), James Manager (Delta), Sam Egwu (Ebonyi), Matthew Urhoghide (Edo), Bamidele Opeyemi (Ekiti), Ike Ekweremadu (Enugu), Danjuma Goje (Gombe), Rochas Okorocha (Imo), Sabo Mohammed (Jigawa), Uba Sani (Kaduna), Kabiru Gaya (Kano), Baba Kaita (Katsina), Adamu Aliero (Kebbi), Smart Adeyemi (Kogi) and Sadiq Umar (Kwara).

Senators Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos), Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa), Mohammed Sani Musa (Niger), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Nicholas Tofowomo (Ondo), Bashiru Ajibola (Osun), Teslim Folarin (Oyo), Hezekiah Dimka (Plateau), George Sekibo (Rivers), Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto), Yusuf Yusuf (Taraba), Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe) and Hassan Gusau (Zamfara) are also members of the committee.