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Senate Considers Adopting 2014 Confab, Considers El-Rufai’s Report On Restructuring

Senate Committee on Constitution Review has promised to consider the report of the 2014 National Conference organised by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led Committee on Restructuring report was also mentioned to be considered for restructuring.

Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege who is also the Chairman of the committee made the promise when Senate President Ahmed Lawanwas inaugurating the committee in Abuja.

Recall that the 2014 National Conference was inaugurated by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on March 17, 2014, with about 492 delegates.

Principal officers of the conference included its Chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi (rtd), Vice Chairman Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi and Dr Valerie Azinge, as Secretary.

Omo-Agege said: “In carrying out this national assignment, this committee will no doubt consider the alteration of the Sixth Schedule to make provision for new items, the establishment of National and State Houses of Assembly, Pre-election Matters Tribunal, Governorship Pre-election Matters Tribunals and Presidential Pre-election Matters Tribunal, including time limits for the disposal of all pre-election matters before the conduct of the general elections.

“We will also consider the need for devolution of power, full local government fiscal autonomy, full autonomy of the Judiciary in the area of administration of justice, youth inclusiveness in governance, gender parity or affirmative action.

“This is by no means an exhaustive list. The committee will also consider inputs from stakeholders and different interest groups across the country.

“In addition, this committee will consider the recommendations of the 2014 Constitutional Conference and the Governor Nasir el-Rufai-led Committee on restructuring.”

Senate President Lawan said: “We expect consultations with public organisations and the civil society. These include the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as the vehicle for elections, civil society groups, the academia, the media, and indeed, the citizenry.

“This assignment needs a great deal of time, resources and expert ideas. This is so because constitutional reviews are not everyday exercises.”

Though the list earlier announced by the Senate President comprised 56 members, Lawan added Ifeanyi Ubah (Anambra South) to represent the Young Progressive Party (YPP) and Betty Apiafi. The committee now has 58 members.

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