Politics HoR Speaker Dogara Inaugurates Committee to Review Nigeria's Constitution



The speaker of Nigeria's House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, on Thursday, inaugurated the House’s constitution review committee, consisting of 49 members.

The Senate had last week inaugurated a similar committee.

The committee is expected to conclude work on the fourth alteration bill started by the seventh Assembly, Dogara said at inauguration ceremony Thursday.

“Since the coming into effect of the 1999 Constitution, and the convocation of the National Assembly in 1999, varying efforts were made in the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Assembly to alter some sections of the Constitution,"

“Indeed the 6th Assembly (2007-2011) enacted the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Alteration Acts.

“The 4th Alteration Act was successfully carried out at the level of the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly by the 7th Assembly (2011-2015), but was unfortunately not assented to by the then president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR.

“The 1999 Constitution vests law-making powers in the National Assembly (Section 4); and in particular, it envisages that the constitution, being a living document that is expected to guide the affairs of the country may require alteration or amendments from time to time as a result of operation of its various aspects or new experiences and new thinking on some of its provisions.

“It is as a result of this that the constitution specifically provides for the mode of altering its provisions in Section 9 thereof,” the speaker said.

He advised the committee not to start afresh.

“In carrying out your assignment, therefore, we would recommend a two-track approach.

“Firstly, we need to conclude the 4th Alteration Bill, which is pending.

“Secondly, we need to process all the other new bills referred to the committee by members, including new proposals from the general public.

“We may also sift ideas from the CONFAB Report of 2014, in a possible 5th Alteration Bill,” he recommended.

The committee is chaired by the deputy speaker, Yusuf Lasun, and consists one representative from all the states as well as nine principal officers of the house.

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