The House of Representatives has approved the transmission of bills seeking to amend various parts of the 1999 Constitution, which have been passed by the state Houses of Assembly to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for assent.
Some of the bills are for devolution of powers from the Federal Government to the states, moving some items from the Exclusive Legislative List to the Concurrent List in the Constitution.
At the plenary on Wednesday, Chairman of the House Committee on Rules and Business, Abubakar Fulata, moved a motion for the House to transmit 35 passed by the Assemblies in concurrence with the National Assembly, out of the 44 bills sent to them.
The motion was sponsored by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, who is Co-Chairman of the Joint Senate and House of Representatives Special Ad Hoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution.
To amend a clause in the Constitution (two-third or four-fifth) majority of each of the Senate and the House have to approve the amendment after which it will be transmitted to the state Houses of Assembly, where two-thirds or 24 of the 36 of them have to concur.
Fulata said, “The House notes that Section 9 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) provides that an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution can be passed only when it is supported by 2/3 majority of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, and approved by the 24 state Houses of Assembly.
“The House recalls that 68 bills seeking to alter provisions of the Constitution were presented at the floor of the House and the Senate on Wednesday, 23 February, 2022 for passage. The House of Representatives and the Senate approved 44 of the bills without differences and were transmitted to the state Houses of Assembly for their resolutions on the 27 March, 2022.”
Fulata noted that 27 Houses of Assembly – Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun Rivers and Yobe – had forwarded their resolutions on the bills.
He added, “The House is convinced that the under-listed 35 Constitution alteration bills have satisfied the provisions of Section 9(2) of the Constitution for passage into law, having been approved by not less than 24 state Houses of Assembly…”