Rev Fr. Peter Babangida Audu has advocated the expunging of the Sharia law from the Nigerian constitution, insisting there should be one law for all in the country.
Audu made the submission on Wednesday being part of the various submissions at the zonal public hearing of the Senate on the review of the 1999 Constitution.
The exercise is holding in 12 centres across the six geopolitical zones of the country and convened by the Senate to aggregate the positions of Nigerians on key areas of the constitutions that should be reviewed.
Various interest groups including sociocultural, political, religious, professional, traditional and other organisations are expected to make presentations at the public hearing.
The exercise is coming on the heels of agitations for restructuring and secession. The report of the two days public hearing is expected to serve as part of the working documents for the review of the country’s constitution.
Akeredolu backs return to 1963 constitution
Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has backed the call for the country to return to the use of the 1963 Constitution.
Governor Akeredolu spoke while declaring open the zonal public hearing of the review of the 1999 Constitution held at the Cultural and International Event Centre, Akure.
Akeredolu stated that the powers of the federal government must be trimmed down as it was the major of friction in the country and politics of bitterness.
He warned that the current attempt at the constitution amendment should be taken beyond the usual jamboree conceived and executed to arrive at predetermined result.
The Ondo governor said the 1963 Constitution which reflected the republican status of the country remained the best document for a country as heterogeneous as Nigeria.
What Igbo want in Nigeria – Uzodimma
Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, has urged citizens to actively contribute towards making a constitution that will address the concerns of Nigerians.
Uzodimma spoke at the flag-off of the review of the 1999 constitution in Owerri.
The governor, however, noted that Igbo people have been agitating for justice and equity, equal treatment and to be a part of the decision-making process in Nigeria.
Nigeria needs new constitution, not amendment – Okowa
Delta State Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, has said that Nigeria’s challenges needed a new constitution, not mere alterations or amendment to correct them.
Okowa stated this when he received on a courtesy visit, the Senate Sub-Committee on review of the 1999 Constitution led by Senator James Manager at Government House, Asaba.
Okowa called for the insertion of a clause to allow for the re-writing of the constitution while it would continue to be in operation until a new one was ready.
“The 13 per cent is actually too low and we believe it should be reviewed to 50 per cent as it used to be in the past or allow the states to own the assets and pay tax to the centre as applicable in other climes,” he said.
Bauchi differs with Borno, Yobe on state police, state creation
Borno and Yobe States have rejected the establishment of state police and creation of additional states as well local governments insisting that existing ones are not adequately funded to execute viable developmental projects.
On the contrary, Bauchi State Government is supporting the creation of additional states and establishment of state police
Speaking at the sitting in Bauchi, Governor Bala Mohammed called for the establishment of state police, saying it would be more ideal for the states to have their law enforcement agencies.
But in his presentation, Speaker, Borno State House Assembly, Abdulkarim Lawan, said that Borno State is not supporting the creation of additional states and local governments. He said that the activities of insurgents had reduced the numbers of LGAs in the state because the inhabitants were displaced from their ancestral homes.
On his part, Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General of Yobe State, Saleh Samanja who presented the position of the state, said the state is against the amendment of the sections that deal on state creation and police.
Sanwo-Olu demands special status for Lagos
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, said Wednesday that the agitation for a special economic status for Lagos State is not a selfish demand.
He said the need for this request has been well articulated and justified, stressing that it is in the interest of every Nigerian and Nigeria as a nation.
Sanwo-Olu stated this while declaring open the South-West zonal public hearing in Lagos for Lagos, Oyo and Ogun State, where he also advocated for state police and fiscal federalism.
According to him, the special status for Lagos must be of concern not only for the people of Lagos State but the entire people of Nigeria.
In Sokoto, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, described constitution as the reference point of democracy.
“All constitutions are, therefore, work in progress because they are subject to the changing needs and aspirations of the people, at different times. And constitution reviews are the process for ensuring this guiding document plays that function,” he said.
Also speaking in Sokoto, the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum and Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has said the proposed constitutional review will lead to a better Nigeria for all.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuani of Enugu State has declared his administration’s support for amendments in the constitution of Nigeria that will enhance the nation’s unity and prosperity “in an environment where justice, fairness and equity shall prevail”.
Ugwuanyi made the declaration while declaring open the zonal public hearing in Enugu, for Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi States.
El-Rufai calls for devaluation of powers
Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has called for the devolution of powers saying the current structure overburdens the federal government with too many responsibilities which it cannot efficiently handle.
The governor, who made this known at the public hearing in Kaduna, said the APC Committee on True Federalism, which he headed had identified legislative interventions that the National Assembly can undertake to achieve a truly balanced, equitable and fair federal structure.
He argued that the reality of the security situation requires that Nigeria must strengthen its military and security agencies, which includes decentralising the police to enable the states exercise effective control in securing residents and communities.
The Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) has called for the creation of Gurara State to end the incessant crisis in the state.
In Gombe, chairman of the Northeast sub-committee of the constitution review, Gombe Centre, Senator Danjuma Goje, said the public hearing was brought to the zonal level to get input of the masses.
Gombe State Governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya said the evolvement dynamics of the Nigerian state makes it imperative for a periodic constitutional review to accommodate new realities and the concerns of the Nigerian people across board.
It’s a futile exercise – Afe Babalola
A legal luminary, Afe Babalola, SAN has described the moves to amend the constitution as a futile exercise.
In a statement, he said, “the proposed amendment to the 1999 constitution, whichever way you look at it, is a futile exercise. We all know that previous sessions of the National Assembly had made laws to convene national conference.
I, therefore, advise that the current National Assembly should call for a National Conference to discuss and make a new true federal constitution which will provide for a Parliamentary system of government.”
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Na’Abba Accuses Governors Of Killing Democracy In Nigeria
A former speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba, has lampooned governors in the country saying they have ruined democracy.
Na’Abba, while speaking in an interview with BBC Hausa Service yesterday, said state governors have hijacked democracy, manipulating primaries of their political parties for their cronies to emerge.
“The governors have drawn a line in politics in which if you are not their boy you won’t become anybody or get elected at all levels. This is happening in both the PDP and APC.
“Democracy should always give room for interaction among people and they should be allowed to vote the right person they want. But the governors have since changed that, there i…
Appeal Court Rekindles Jegede’s Hope Of Sacking Aketi With Inconclusive Judgment
The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, yesterday partially upheld the appeal by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), in the October 10, 2020 governorship election in the state.
Jegede, who is challenging Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s victory, had approached the appellate court after the tribunal dismissed his petition for lacking in merit.
His counsel, Onyeachi Ikpeazu, had asked the court to sack Akeredolu and his deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, because they were allegedly not properly nominated by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But the respondents’ counsel, Akin Olujimi (SAN), for Akeredolu and Aiyedatiwa, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) for the APC and Charles Edosanmwon (SAN) for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), faulted all the arguments of Jegede’s counsel.
They contended that the case was a pre-election matter.
In the lead judgment by Justice Theresa Ngolika Orji-Abadua, the court partly allowed Jegede’s appeal on issues one, two, four and five.
She dismissed the appeal on issues three, six and seven.
In their judgments, Justice H. A. Barka, Justice J. G. Abundaga and Justice Andenyangtso Alli dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit.
Justice Orji-Abadua said the Electoral Act cannot override provisions of the Constitution on qualification or disqualification of a candidate in an election.
“The appeal is partly allowed and partly dismissed,” she said.
The PDP and Jegede vowed to challenge the decision.
The party’s spokesman Kennedy Peretei said in a statement: “In concluding her lead judgment, Justice Orji-Abadua said the appeal was partially dismissed and partially allowed. To the ordinary man in the street, the judgment was ‘inconclusive’.
“The kernel of the Eyitayo Jegede/PDP petition was whether or not a gross violation of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) should be allowed to stay; whether or not Mai Mala Buni, as a sitting Governor of Yobe State, can double as National Chairman of the APC, to sign the nomination of Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) for the governorship election.
“While the Court of Appeal acknowledged that it was a violation of the Constitution, it still went ahead to dismiss the appeal.
“We are still studying the details of the judgment, by virtue of the fact that it was delivered via Zoom. But we have sufficient grounds to appeal the decision of the court. We are confident the Supreme Court, which is the highest court in the land, will do justice.”
Akeredolu has extended an olive branch to Jegede, urging him to join hands with him in building the state.
Addressing reporters, Akeredolu said: “I have said this over and over: this case itself is so flimsy for me as a person. And it is clear because where you believe that you can go through the back door and upturn the will of the people, it is not going to work.
“We had an election in which the party won 15 out of the local governments; you won three. You are not contesting the result of the election, but you are hinging your petition on the Chairman of the party who signed the nomination that was forwarded to INEC.
“For me, it is clear. With God on our side, no matter where they go about this case, it will be the same result.
“It is just like when Yoruba say that if you throw the cutlass up 50 times by the time it’s landing, it will land on its side.
“Tayo, for one reason or the other, I said to him, we don’t need to pursue this case. I had called him once or twice. I don’t see why we are going about this action; that both of us can come together to work for the benefit of the state. That is my own belief.
“I respect him, but he must have a reason behind him pursuing this case the way he’s pursuing it. It is either the party is the one pushing him or he’s the one pushing himself. Whichever one it is, I know there must be something behind what he’s doing.
“But I can assure him, like a man who is building with straw, I can assure him nothing will come out of this case.
“I will call on him again for the umpteenth time: let him come, let us work together to build that state and let us work together for the Southwest and let us work together for Nigeria.
“Importantly, he is one person that I have a lot of respect for; he has respect for me. I see him as a brother. But in election matters, you cannot avoid this kind of contestation.”
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