1999 Constitutional Amendment

Prominent lawyers in the country have described the fourth amendment Bill forwarded to the former President Goodluck Jonathan by the 7th National Assembly as dead and buried.

The lawyers including OCJ Okocha SAN, chairman board of the Council of Legal Education (CLE), Joseph Bodunrin Daudu SAN, former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and a Kaduna based constitutional lawyer, Festus Okoye in separate interview agreed that the amendment process would have to start all over again.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan while refusing to sign the constitution amendment Bill into law gave some reasons for not doing so even as the deputy Senate president Ike Ekweremadu’s ill-fated Constitutional Review Committee allegedly gulped not less than N5.5 billion from NASS.

On his part, constitutional lawyer Festus Okoye said that the fate of the Fourth Amendment to the constitution was subject to speculations.

He however added that the issue has to be dealt with before the next general election.

According to him what Nigerians lost due to the refusal of the former President to assent to the Fourth Amendment was enormous.

“The truth of the matter is that the constitution is very clear, when the Senate and the House of Representatives have harmonized their positions it goes to the president for accent, it is either the president accents to the Bill or returns it. If he returns it, it is either the Senate and the House of Representatives agree to the amendment he has made or they override his veto.

‘The constitutional alteration is slightly different, this is because in a constitutional alteration it is not only the Senate and the House of Representatives that have the power to amend the constitution, the state assemblies also make inputs into constitutional alterations.

‘‘When the president returns it and refuses to sign; it should also go back to the houses of assembly before going back to the Senate because constitutional alteration is not a matter of speculation and not a matter to play along with.’’

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