- The presidency has disclosed that President Buhari has drawn the curtains on the signing of bills for the fourth alteration to the 1999 Constitution
- The development comes amid renewed talks that Buhari failed to sign most of the constitutional amendment bills
- Aide to the president, Senator Ita Enang, said the time constitutionally allowed has elapsed, for any bill not yet signed by the president
- Rep Abdulrazak Namdas, however, disclosed that the House of Reps will look into most of the unsigned bills upon resumption
President Muhammadu Buhari has drawn the curtains on the signing of bills for the fourth alteration to the 1999 Constitution, the presidency disclosed on Sunday, December 23.
The development was made public by Senator Ita Enang, the senior special assistant to the president on National Assembly matters (Senate), in an interview with Punch.
Legit.ng gathers that Enang disclosed that any bills not signed till date must have lapsed. He added that the president would have also communicated same to the National Assembly.
The development comes amid renewed talks that Buhari failed to sign most of the constitutional amendment bills.
Between 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, both the Senate and the House of Representatives spent at least N1bn of taxpayers’ money on the fourth alteration of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
Enang stated: “If the president has not signed any bill as of today – and he must have written the National Assembly informing them – it is because the time allowed by law has elapsed. It is no more available for signing. And I know that the president assented to some of the bills that were submitted and sent the rest back to the National Assembly.
“Anyone that has not been assented to, the time constitutionally allowed has elapsed and the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives must have been communicated.”
Thirty amendments to the constitution had been initially proposed by both houses of the National Assembly; however, only 17 were passed.
In compliance with Section 9 of the constitution, the 17 bills were later forwarded to the 36 state Houses of Assembly for approval.
On April 18, the National Assembly reportedly forwarded 12 of the bills, which secured the endorsement of the two chambers upon return from the states, to President Buhari for his assent.
So far, the president has signed the Not Too Young to Run Bill (reducing the eligible age to contest for president from 40 to 35 years) and four others.
The 12 bills forwarded to the president earlier included Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 2 (Authorisation of Expenditure in Absence of Appropriation); Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 4 (Financial Autonomy of State Legislatures); Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 8 (The Legislature); Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 9 (Political Parties and Electoral Matters); and Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 15 (The Nigeria Police Force).
There were also Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 16 (Restriction of Tenure of President and Governor); Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 20 (Submission from the Judiciary); Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 21 (Determination of Pre-Election Matters); Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 22 (Consequential Amendment on Civil Defence); Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 24 (Procedure for Overriding Presidential Veto in Constitutional Alteration); Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 27 (Reduction of Age for Election); and the Constitution (Fourth Alteration) Bill No 28 (Timeline for the Presentation of Appropriation Bill).
However, when contacted, the chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, said the issue of constitution amendment had not been rested by the legislative arm of government.
He pointed out that since since the tenure of the 8th Assembly would not terminate till June 9, a revisit was possible in 2019. He said as much as a number of bills had been sent back to the National Assembly by the president, there were others he (Buhari) had yet to sign and he also did not revert to the legislature.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that ahead of the 2019 general elections, Senate President Bukola Saraki called on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the 2018 Electoral Bill.
The Senate president pointed out that the legislative arm of government had made adjustments to accommodate the president’s wishes on the bill.
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