Reps Set Up Constitution Review C’ttee

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  • Probe $5m grant given to Lake Chad Basin

The House of Representatives yesterday set up a 47 member Constitution Review adhoc Committee to look review the 1999 constitution as amended.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara who announced the composition of the committee disclosed that the last review carried out by the 7th Assembly was not concluded “because it was not assented to by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The committee is to be headed by the deputy speaker, Hon. Suleimon Lasun, while representatives of interest groups like the media, the bar association, labour and the civil society organizations will be announced later. Also, all principal officers are members of the committee.

It will be recalled that the review of the 1999 Constitution by the Seventh Assembly was inchoate following the refusal of the then President Goodluck Jonathan to assent to it over concerns on the processes adopted in arriving at certain amendments to the document.

But both Houses of the National assembly have separately amended its rules, with the assurances that the document would be resurrected, cleaned up and re-presented for the adoption of their committees of the whole, and subsequent transmission to incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari for assent, without going through the entire process of public hearings any more.

Also, yesterday, the House yesterday mandated its committee on Lake Chad to investigate the $5 million granted to the Lake Chad Basin Commission by the Administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo for feasibility studies on how to divert rivers to the Lake and report back to the House within 8 weeks.

This resolution by the House followed a motion promoted by Hon. Ahmed Abu.

The lawmaker in his submission noted that the percentage contribution towards the commission’s annual budget is 40 percent by Nigeria, 18 percent by Libya, 20 percent by Cameroon, 7 percent by Niger, 11 percent by Chad and 4 percent by Central African Republic.

Abu said that the environmental audit report on the drying up of Lake Chad given by the Auditor – General of the Federation in October 2015 did not take into account the report of the feasibility studies.

According to him, the transaction of such magnitude paid for with tax payer’s monies has not been given the due attention it deserves by way of follow up.

The House adopted the motion after it was put to a voice vote by the presiding officer, the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.

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