Nigerian Legislators abandon restructuring, approve New Constitution
The Nigeria Senate in session
By Adetokunbo Fakeye
Abuja, Jan. 4, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Nigeria highest law making body,the National Assembly on Tuesday approved the new Nigerian constitution with profound and far reaching amendments.
The new document is silent on the much touted restructuring but abolished the states electoral commission and granted full financial and administrative autonomy to all the 774 local council authorities across Nigeria through amendment and ratification of section 124 of the nation’s constitution.
The National Assembly also made provisions for Independent candidacy in future elections in Nigeria by amending sections 65 and 106 of the 1999 constitution.
Until now, local government administration has been at the mercy of state governors and this has prevented development at the grassroots.
The recent amendment was one of the 22 others approved by the House of Representatives last week and ratified by the Senate on Tuesday.
Both chambers had through a conference committee harmonised versions of the amendments into the constitution carried out by each of them last month.
By this development, the National Assembly had ratified all the 23 clauses and sections that had been amended by both chambers.
The newly amended document to be sent to States Houses of Assembly, for approval, also approved the creation of the Office of Auditor – General of the Local Government as well as the State Local Government Service Commission.
However, it retained the immunity clause in the constitution for the President and Governors by adopting the Senate version of the amendment on the issue and rejected the House of Representatives version which removed the immunity clause.