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The Nigerian Senate on 26th
July, 2017, in a plenary session, with 97 Senators in attendance, deliberated
over 33 Bills seeking to amend the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic. The Bills include;

1.     Bill on Members of
the Council of States
Bill on the
composition of members of the council of state
95 Senators voted
Yes to amend
2.     Authorization of
expenditure (Section 62 and 182)  
Bill to reduce the
period of which the Governor of a State may withdraw funds from the consolidated
revenue funds in the absence of an appropriation act from 6 months to 3 months.
Yes: 93 No: 1
Abstain: 1
3.     Devolution of Power
Bill to amend 2nd
schedule, part 1 and 2 of the 1999 Constitution to give more legislative powers
to state by moving some items to the Concurrent List in the Constitution.
Yes: 5 No: 90
Abstain: 0
4.     Financial Autonomy
of State Legislature
Bill to provide for
funding of Houses of Assemblies directly from the consolidated revenue of the
State.
Yes: 90 No: 5
Abstain: 0
5.     Distributable
account for LG’s to have their own special account
Bill to alter Section
162 to empower each local council to maintain its own accounts into which all
allocations due to the local government council shall be paid directly from the
federation account and state allocations.
Yes: 84 No: 8
Abstain: 1
6.     Democratic
Existence funding and tenure of LG council
Bill aims at strengthening
local government administration in Nigeria by guaranteeing the democratic existence
and funding of local government councils.
  
Yes: 88 No: 7
Abstain: 1
7.     State creation and
boundary adjustment
Bill seeks to
ensure that only democratically created local government councils can participate
in state creation and boundary adjustments.  
Yes: 47 No: 48
Abstain: 0
8.     Immunity for
legislators for Acts in Course of Duty
This is a Bill to
alter section 4, 51, 61, 68,93 and 109 of the constitution, to provide immunity
for members of legislature in respect of words spoken or written in plenary.
This means that no member of the Senate can be legally prosecuted for words and
writings made during a plenary session or in committee. And to institutionalize
legislative bureaucracy in the constitution and obligate the president to
address the joint national assembly once a year to give a state of the nation
address.
Yes: 93 No: 1
Abstain: 0
9.     Political Parties
and Electoral Matters : Time to conduct Bye Elections and Power to deregister
parties.
Bill seeks to alter
Section 134 and 179 of the Constitution to provide time for INEC to conduct bye
elections and Section 225 to empower INEC to deregister political parties for
non-fulfillment of certain conditions such as a breach of registration
requirements and for not winning any seat in any election.
Yes: 90 No: 0
Abstain: 0
10.   Presidential Assent
This Bill seeks to
alter Section 58, 59 and 100 of the Constitution to resolve the impasse when a
President or Government fails to give or withdraw accent from a Bill passed by
the Legislature.
Yes: 95 No: 1
Abstain: 0
11.Bill
11: Time frame for submission of names of ministerial or commissioner nominees.
To set a time frame within which a president or governor shall forward names of
nominees for ministerial or commissioner positions along with their intended
portfolios.
a)    Nomination shall be
between 40 days after President has taken oath of office.
Yes: 75 No: 19
Abstain: 0
b)    Submission of Ministerial
Nominees shall be with their Portfolios
       Yes:
78 No: 16 Abstain: 1
c)     35% affirmative
action for women as ministers
       Yes: 49 No: 43 Abstain: 2
d)   Submission of
Commissioners Nominees shall be within 30 days.  
       
        Yes: 84 No: 7 Abstain: 0
e)     Submission of names
of office of commissioners shall be attached with portfolio
Yes: 87 No: 8
Abstain: 0
f)      35% Affirmative
action for women as States Commissioners
Yes: 61 No: 35
Abstain: 0


12. The
Bill seeks to alter section 147 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the appointment of a Minister from the FCT, Abuja
to ensure that the FCT is represented in the Executive Council of the
Federation.
Yes    No    Abstain 
13.  Change
of names of some LG councils: Ebonyi, Oyo, Ogun, Pleateau and Rivers.
This Bill seeks to alter the Constitution to provide for change in the
names of some Local Government Councils and the definition of the boundary of
the FCT, Abuja.
Yes: 84 No: 2
Abstain: 2
14.   Independent
Candidacy
This seeks to alter sections 65, 106, 131, and 177 of the Constitution.
This is aimed at expanding the political space and broadening the options for
the electorate by allowing for independent candidacy in all elections.
Yes: 82 No: 5
Abstain: 3
15.    The
Nigeria Police Force to become Nigerian Police
This Bill seeks to alter the Constitution in sections 34, 35, 39, 214,
215, 216 and the Third Schedule to change the name of the Police from “Nigeria
Police Force” to “Nigeria Police” in order to reflect their core mandate.
Yes: 87 No: 2
Abstain: 1
16.  Restriction of the tenure of President and
Governor
The Bill sought
that any vice president who had completed a tenure of a sitting president and
contested a fresh four years mandate shall not be eligible to run for a second
term of office.
Yes: 88 No: 0
Abstain: 1
17.    Separation of Office of the Accountant-General
This Bill seeks to alter section 84 of the Constitution to establish
the office of the Accountant-General of the Federal Government separate from
office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.
Yes: 89 No: 0
Abstain: 0
18.                       
Office
of Auditor General to be included in first line chat of consolidated revenue.
This Bill seeks to make the office of the Auditor-General for the
Federation and for the State financially independent by placing them on
first-line charges in the Consolidated Revenue funds of the Federation and of
the States.
Yes: 95 No: 0
Abstain: 0

19. Separation
of Office of the Attorney General from the Minister/Commissioner of Justice
This Bill seeks to alter sections 150, 174, 195, 211, 318 and the Third
Schedule to the Constitution to separate the office of the Minister or
Commissioner for Justice from that of the Attorney-General of the Federation
and of states soas to create an independent office of the Attorney-General of
the Federation insulated from partisanship. It also seeks to redefine the role
of the Attorney-General, provide a fixed tenure, provide the age and
qualification for appointment and also for a more stringent process for the removal
of the Attorney General.
Yes: 95 No: 1
Abstain: 1
20.      Submissions
from the Judiciary
This bill contains a vast array of alterations with regards to the
Judiciary such as the composition of the National Judicial Council, and
empowering Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal to hear certain
applications in chambers thereby enhancing the speedy dispensation of justice.
Yes: 95 No: 2
Abstain: 1
21. Determination
of pre-election matters.
This Bill seeks to among other things make provisions for timelines for
the determination of pre-election disputes.
Yes: 97 No: 0
Abstain: 0
22.  Consequential Amendment on Civil Defence
This Bill seeks to reflect the establishment and core functions of the
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. It is a consequential amendment
because of the inclusion of the national security and civil defence as an item
in the Exclusive Legislative List under the Second Schedule to the
Constitution.

Yes: 97 No: 0
Abstain: 0
23.  Citizenship
and indigeneship
This Bills seeks to alter section 25 of the Constitution to guarantee a
married woman’s right to choosing either her indigeneship by birth or by
marriage for the purposes of appointment or election.
Yes: 49 No: 46
Abstain: 0
24.Procedure
for Overriding Presidential Veto in Constitutional Alteration
This Bill seeks to among other things provide the procedure for passing
a Constitution Alteration Bill where the President withholds assent.
Yes: 92 No: 4
Abstain: 0
25. Removal
of law making power from Executive Arm.
This Bill seeks to alter section 315 of the Constitution of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to remove the law-making powers of the Executive Arm
of Government.
Yes: 89 No: 3
Abstain: 0
26. Investment
and Securities Tribunal
This bill seeks to establish the Investments and Securities Tribunal
under the Constitution.
Yes: 76 No: 14
Abstain: 5
27.  Reduction
of Age for Election
This Bill seeks to alter the Sections 65, 106, 131, 177 of the
Constitution to reduce the age qualification for the offices of the President
and Governor and membership of the Senate, House of Representatives, and the
State Houses of Assembly.
The bill now proposes 35 as the minimum age
for the office of the President and being elected to the Senate; and 25 for the
House of Representatives.

Yes: 86 No: 10
Abstain: 1
28. Authorization
of expenditure time frame for laying Appropriation bill, Passage etc
This Bill seeks to provide for the time within which the President or
Governor shall lay the Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly or House
of Assembly to encourage the early presentation and passage of Appropriation
Bills.
Yes: 94 No: 0
Abstain:0
29.   Deletion
of NYSC decree from CFRN
The Bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, 1999 to delete the National Youth Service Corps Decree from the Constitution
so that it can be subject to the regular process of amendment.
Yes: 88 No: 3
Abstain: 0
30.    Deletion of Public Complain Act from CFRN.
The Bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, 1999 to delete the Public Complaints Commission Act from the
Constitution so that it can be subject to the regular process of amendment.
Yes: 90 No: 1
Abstain: 2
31.   Deletion
of National Security Agencies from the CFRN
The Bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria, 1999 to delete the National Securities Act from the Constitution so
that it can be subject to the regular process of amendment.
Yes: 92 No: 2
Abstain: 0
32.   Deletion of land Use Act from CFRN
The Bill seeks to
alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to delete the
Land Use Act from the Constitution so that it can be subject to the regular
process of amendment.
Yes: 46 No: 44
Abstain: 0
33. Deletion
of State Electoral Commission from
CFRN
Yes: 73 No: 19
Abstain: 2

Adedunmade Onibokun, Esq.

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2 – youtube.com. 3 – Twitter.com/@NGRsenate