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Constitution amendment suffers setback as Senate fails to fund panel


The much-awaited review of the 1999 Constitution to accommodate fresh provisions in line with current realities may have suffered a major setback in the Senate.

Investigations by our correspondent revealed that the secretariat of the Senate ad hoc committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution has not been functional following the alleged failure of the Senate leadership to release funds for its take-off.

Further findings by our correspondent revealed that the lack of funds has stalled the inauguration of the various sub-committees which are expected to have started work already.

A worker at the secretariat of the panel who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity on Saturday explained that no amount out of the N500m being expected to carry out the assignment had been released.

He said, “I don’t know how they want us to do the job because there is nothing is on the ground for now to show that the process of the constitutional amendment has started. There is no fund to carry out any work.”

When contacted, the Senate Spokesperson, who is also a member of the ad hoc committee, Dr Ajibola Basiru, directed our correspondent to the chairman of the panel and the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.

“I am not aware whether money has been released or not. Please find out from the chairman of the committee,” he said.

Omo-Agege, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Yomi Odunuga, confirmed that no money had been released to the panel.

“To the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of any money being released to the Constitution Review Committee,” he said.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, had on Thursday, February 6, 2020, unveiled the membership of a 56-man Steering and Constitution Review Committee.

The composition of the committee had all principal officers as members: one Senator from each state of the federation, and two Senators selected to represent each geo-political zone in the country.

All the women in the red chamber were also made automatic members.

The panel recently announced that it had so far received about 60 bills sponsored by Nigerians through various senators to further amend the nation’s laws.

Bibiyobra: Sunday, 6 December 2020 at 12/06/2020 10:04:00 am


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