Constitutional review: NASS powers to summon president, others dominate discourse


Ahead of the inauguration of the Constitutional Review Committee of the House of Representatives on Monday, the committee had received a total of 44 bills seeking alterations of relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Recall that the 37-member committee chaired by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Benjamin Kalu had its maiden meeting earlier this month and fixed February 26 for its formal inauguration.

One of the proposed legislation for consideration by the committee was “a bill for an act to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (with alteration) in order to grant to the two chambers of the National Assembly and the States’ Houses of Assembly powers to summon the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and governors of states respectively, to answer questions of national security or any other matter whatsoever.”

Sponsored by the member representing Ideato North/Ideato South Federal Constituency, Imo State, Ikenga Ugochinyere, the bill is seeking to alter Sections 67 and 107 to introduce sub-section 3 which reads, “Nothing in the section shall preclude any chamber from summoning the President of the Federal Republic to attend a joint session of the National Assembly to answer questions on national security or any issue whatsoever, over which the National Assembly has powers to make laws.”

Also before the committee is a bill tagged HB 206 to amend the Constitution to provide for “An independence referendum for states to enforce their rights of self-determination under the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right and Related Matters.”

Also sponsored by Ugochinyere who doubles as Chairman, House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), the bill seeks to alter Section 2 and introduce sub-section (3) to read, “Any secession from Nigeria by a state or group of states or a people shall be confirmed by a referendum in accordance with the Act of the National Assembly.”

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