Senate strips President of power to ascent to bills
The report of the Senate Committee on the Review of 1999 Constitution on Wednesday disclosed that the President has been stripped of power to ascent to bills passed by the National Assembly.
The Upper Chamber after presentation by the Chairman of the Committee and Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, approved amendments to the 1999 Constitution following the submission of the constitution alteration bill by the state houses of assembly.
Therefore presidential assent will no longer be required for a bill to become law as long as the National Assembly has approved it.
Also in the report of the Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution submitted by Ekweremadu 20 states voted against local government autonomy, while 16 states voted in support.
The 20 states that voted against are: Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kwara, Lagos, Ondo, Osun, Rivers, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara.
States who gave the yes votes are: Adamawa, Anambra, Abia, Bauchi, Benue, Edo, Gonbe, Imo, Kebbi, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau and Sokoto states.
The proposed amendments, which was rejected, indicated that “a local government council not democratically elected shall not be recognised by all authorities and persons and shall not be entitled to any revenue allocation from the Federation Account or the state government nor exercise any function exercisable by a local government council under this Constitution or any law for the time being in force; and
“Shall stand dissolved at the expiration of a period of four years, commencing from the date the members of the Council were sworn in….”Similarly, a human right activist, Comrade Waheed Saka, said the involvement of party in the selection of assembly leadership is the best to institutionalise party democracy. Saka, who is the convener of Dialogue 365, said the practice all over is to consider ranking members as leaders of the assembly, stressing that those that have capacity can also be considered.