A BREAKDOWN OF THE 33 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILLS PASSED BY THE SENATE; INTERPRETATIONS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS.

Just as promised some weeks ago, the 8th Senate under the leadership of Senator Bukola Saraki is fulfilling the Constitutional amendment process. The senate is riding on an already established record of numerous bill passage within its first 2yrs of inauguration. Thus, it is making a giant stride with the constitution review considerations.

The Constitution review committee, as chaired by the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, this week submitted 33 bills on the floor of the house for considerations. And we the use of the Electronic voting system (e-voting), 29 out of it were successfully passed yesterday.

Among the passed bills are the famous #nottoyoungtorun bill, Local government autonomy bill, restriction of tenure and financial autonomy of the states government.
Below is a breakdown, voting results, interpretations and status of each bill.

Bill 1: Amendment of the Members of the Council of States.
Interpretation: The Council of States which currently consists of the sitting President, living ex-presidents and the sitting Senate President and speaker should now include the ex-Senate president “provided that such a person was not removed from office by the process of impeachment”.

Votes:
Yes – 93
No – 1
Abstain – 1
Status: passed

Bill 2: Authorization of expenditure.
Interpretation: the l;egislature altered the provisions of the constitution to reduce the period within which the president or the governor of a state might authorize the withdrawal of money from the consolidated revenue fund in the absence of an appropriation act from six months to three months. This is to hasten the pace at which budget proposals are submitted to the national assembly, passed and assented to.

Votes:
Yes: 93
No: 1
Abstain: 1
Status: passed

Bill 3: Devolution of Power
Interpretation:
Yes: 90
No: 5
Abstain: 0

Bill 4: Financial Autonomy of State Legislature.
Interpretation: the NASS amended the constitution to provide for the funding of the state House of assembly directly from the consolidated revenue fund of the state.

Votes:
Yes: 90
No: 5
Abstain: 0
Status: passed

Bill 5: Distributable account for Local Governments to have their own special Account
Interpretation: this amendment abrogates the state joint local government accounts and to empower each local government council to maintain its own special account.

Votes:
Yes: 84
No: 8
Abstain: 1
Status: passed

Bill 6: Democratic Existence funding and tenure of LG council
Interpretation: this bill seeks to strengthen the 774 LG councils across the nation in a bid to assure their survival.

Votes:
Yes: 88
No: 7
Abstain: 1
Status: passed

Bill 7: State creation and boundary adjustment
Interpretation: a bill to create more states out of the existing 36.

Votes:
Yes: 47
No: 48
Abstain: 0
Status: not passed.

Bill 8: Immunity for legislators for Acts in Course of Duty
Interpretation: this bill seeks to bestow immunity on the legislators for words and actions during plenary, committee sittings and any other course of duty. Albeit, they aint free from prosecutions for any crime committed.

Voted:
Yes: 93
No: 1
Abstain: 0
Status: passed.

Bill 9: Political Parties and Electoral Matters: Time to conduct Bye Elections and Power to deregister parties
Interpretation: the bill seeks to strengthen the INEC with sufficient time to conduct by-elections extending it from the initiual 7 days to 21 days.

Votes:
Yes: 90
No: 0
Abstain: 0
Status: passed

Bill 10: Presidential Assent
Interpretation: a bill to provide timely passage of bills. It reads that where the president withholds his assent and the bill is again passed by each chamber of the NASS by two-third majority, the bill shall automatically becomes law without the presidential assent. Recall that the status quo stipulates a thirty days time frame for the president to assent bills or else it becomes law.

Vote:
Yes: 95
No: 1
Abstain: 0
Status: passed

Bill 11: Time frame for submission of names of ministerial nominees
Interpretation: this amendment is to mandate the president and governors to submit names of ministers and commissioners for confirmation within 30 days of assuming office. This is meant to counter another possible delay in ministerial appointments as witnessed during this present government.

Votes:
Yes: 75
No: 19
Abstain: 0
Status: passed

Bill 11b: Submission of Ministererial Nominees with their Portfolios.
Interpretation: this entails that the president must duely attach the potential portfolios of ministers upon submission so as to aid the screening exercise.

Votes:
Yes: 78
No: 16
Abstain: 1
Status: passed

Bill 11c: 35% affirmative action for women as ministers.
Interpretation: it entails that 35% quota of government appointment slot should firmly be given to women to give them chances in governance.

Votes:
Yes: 49
No: 43
Abstain: 2
Status: (failed to meet the required 2/3) not passed

Bill 11d: Submission of Commissioners Nominees with their Portfolios
Interpretation: this entails that the governors must duely attach the potential portfolios of commissioners upon submission so as to aid the screening exercise.

Votes:
Yes: 84
No: 7
Abstain: 0
Status: passed

Bill 11e : Submission of names of office of commissioners shall be attached with portfolio.
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 87
No: 8
Abstain: 0
Status: passed

Bill 11f: 35% Affirmative action for women as States Commissioners.
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 61
No: 35
Abstain: 0
Status: (failed to meet the required 2/3) not passed.

Bill 12: Appointment of Minister from the FCT
Interpretation: this seeks to amend the constitution to ensure that indigenes of FCT are also given chance to be nominated as ministers.

Votes:
Yes: 77
No: 12
Abstain: 3
Status: passed

Bill 13: Change of names of some LG councils: Ebonyi, Oyo, Ogun, Pleateau and Rivers.
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 84
No: 2
Abstain: 2
Status: passed

Bill 14: Independent Candidacy
Interpretation: allows for the recognition of candidates without recognized political party affiliation to run for public offices.

Votes:
Yes: 82
No: 5
Abstain: 3
Status: passed

Bill 15: The Nigeria Police Force to become Nigerian Police
Interpretation: calls for the change of the NPF to Nigerian Police.

Votes:
Yes: 87
No: 2
Abstain: 1
Status: passed

Bill 16: Restriction of the tenure of President and Governor
Interpretation: this bill seeks to restrict the maximum tenure of governors and presidents to only two (2) possible swearing in. with effect, it means, a person like GEJ or Fayose cant contest for another tenure as president or governor respectively since they have been sworn-into those offices twice already.

Votes:
Yes: 88
No: 0
Abstain: 1
Status: PASSED

Bill17: Establishment of Accountant General of the Federal Government different from Accountant General of the Federation
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 89
No: 0
Abstain:0
Status: passed

Bill 18: Separation of Office of the Attorney General from the Minister/ Commissioner of Justice.
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 95
No: 1
Abstain: 1
Status: passed

Bill 19: Separation of Office of the Attorney General from the Minister/ Commissioner of Justice
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 95
No: 1
Abstain: 1
Status: passed

Bill 20: Submissions from the Judiciary.
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 95
No: 2
Abstain: 1
Status: passed

Bill 21: Determination of pre-election matters.
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 97
No: 0
Abstain: 0
Status: passed

Bill 22: Consequential Amendment on Civil Defence.
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 97
No: 0
Abstain: 0
Status: passed

Bill 23: Citizenship and indigene ship
Interpretation: seeks to grant the women the right to choose, during elections or appointment, where she comes from either by birth or by marriage.

Yes: 49
No: 46
Abstain: 0
Status: (failed to get the 2/3 majority) not passed

Bill 24: Procedure for Overriding Presidential Veto in Constitutional Alteration
Interpretation:

Votes;
Yes: 92
No: 4
Abstain: 0
Status: passed

Bill 25: Removal of law making power from Executive Arm.
Interpretation: deletes section 315 (4a.i) and 315 (4a.ii) which gives the executive some law making powers in 315 (2).

Votes:
Yes: 89
No: 3
Abstain: 0
Status: passed

Bill 26: Investment and Securities Tribunal
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 76
No: 14
Abstain: 5
Status: passed

Bill 27: Reduction of Age for Election (a.k.a #Nottoyoungtorun)
Interpretation: this allows for every eligible Nigerian youth to run for any election in Nigeria (including President).

Votes:
Yes: 86
No: 10
Abstain: 1
Status: PASSED

Bill 28: Authorization of expenditure time frame for laying Appropriation bill, Passage etc
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 94
No: 0
Abstain:0
Status: passed

Bill 29: Deletion of the National Youth Service Corps decree from CFRN
Interpretation: removal of the NYSC clauses under the military decrees present in the constitution. This doesn’t invalidate or terminate the NYSC program.

Votes:
Yes: 88
No: 3
Abstain: 0
Status: passed

Bill 30: Deletion of Public Complain Act from CFRN.
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 90
No: 1
Abstain: 2
Status: passed

Bill 31: Deletion of National Security Agencies from the CFRN
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 92
No: 2
Abstain: 0
Status: passed

Bill 32: Deletion of land Use Act from CFRN
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 46
No: 44
Abstain: 0
Status: (failed to get the 2/3 majority) not passed

Bill 33: Deletion of State Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from CFRN
Interpretation:

Votes:
Yes: 73
No: 19
Abstain: 2
Status: passed.

However, it should be noted that:
i.  Each bill still requires the consent of 2/3 majority votes of the House of Representative members
ii.  The House of Rep will vote on the bills today, 27th Juky 2017.
iii.  Logically, the bills should also be forwarded to the Assemblies of each state for consideration too.
iv.   After which it returns to the Senate for repackaging.,
v.     The packaged bills will now be sent to the President for assent.

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