Senate Deputy President, Senator Ike Ekeremadu
By Victor Efeizomor
Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution has suggested a five years single tenure for president, Vice-President, Governors and Deputy Governors for the nation in order to deepen democratic culture and ensure sustainable development in the country.
The Committee that raped up its two day retreat Saturday in Asaba, the Delta State capital also tinkered with the ideas on; power devolution for true federalism, creation of state police, removal of immunity clause, financial autonomy for state House of Assembly , creation of more states , judicial reforms and indigenship and section 42 of the constitution.
The committee suggested , “ one tearm of 5 years for the President, Vice- President , Governors and Deputy Governors, Delovution of powers for true Federalism, indigenship and section 45 of the Constitution ,
Financial autonomy for State House of Assembly to strengthen them , creation of one state for the South East zone for equity and fairness , necessity for cration of State police revisit of the immunity clause and judicial reform”
Chairman of the Committee and Senate Leader, Senator, Victor Ndoma-Egba, who read out the five page resolution of the committee during his closing remarks, said “in moving forward, the 47
member committee will synergies with stakeholders, governors, state Houses of Assembly, civil societies, the Nigerian Bar Association and the media to generate sufficient national conversation around the issues and other issues of interest to Ngerians to build a national consensus, and conduct public hearing” to fashion out an enduring , sustainable acceptable constitution for the country.
He said “the committee calls on all proponets of a conference by whatever name called to feel free to submit their view to the committee . the committee reiterate the fact that there can be no other sovereignty that can be right of hold opinions and to freely associate and will therefore encourage Nigerians to discuse the future of our dear country , the insistence by certain quarters for Soverengn National Conference is untenable as there can only be one- sovereignity”
Senate Deputy President, Senator, Ike Ekeremadu and Chairman of Committee promised to that the National Assembly will ensure that our constitution is given a true federal status.
Senator Smart Adeyemi, (CON) representing Kogi West in his submission said the creation of state policy is most imperative and long overdue occasioning from the peculiar nature of the nations federal system of government , adding that “you cannot sit in Abuja and bring a police man from maidugrey or Kogi state to come and police Delta state because the people of the area know the hideouts of the criminals , these are the challenges , but in as much as I am in support of state police we should be able to put in some clause in the constitution to prevent politicians from using it against political opponents” .
Adeyemi who also advocated for the retention of immunity clause in the nations constitution for public office holders on civil matters added that immunity clauses should removed on criminal cases as “ if there is sufficient reason that a governor has embezzled so much money , then why should leave him in office , if it’s a breach of the constitution, you do not allow him to commit more damage before he goes , so we should review the immunity clause in such a way that all that affect the civil matters , they can have immunity, but on criminal matters , they should be prosecuted”.
Governor of Rivers State , Rt. Hon. Chibuke Amaechi stated that issues like revenue sharing formular, questions on the federating units and issues of state police need to be addressed properly , adding that the state that can fund state police should be allowed to operate it with minimal requirements , adding that immunity is an essential tool for good governance.
Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan called for the removal of obnoxious law from the constitution such as the Land Petroleum Act and Section 443 of the 1999 constitution as these laws have mitigated against the development of the Niger Delta region. He advocated for states to have lager control of the revenue and resources so as to ensure adequate provision of infrastructures in the state.
Speaker , House of Representative , Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal , represented by his Deputy, Hon Emeka Ihedioha , noted that the House recognizes all the recommendations made by various individuals and groups especially on the equitable distribution of national resources.
The President , Nigerian Bar Association , Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN) in a ten page presentation on “Judicial Reforms for Sustainable Democracy Reforms”, called for a constitutional amendments that will enhance judicial reforms are imperative.