The Oasis Reporters
February 16, 2018
By Moses Gbande
Plateau State House of Assembly on Thursday gave overwhelming votes in favour of the fourth constitutional alteration bill seeking to amend the 1999 constitution.
At the opening of the plenary, Speaker of the State Eighth Assembly, Peter Azi, observed that only 16 members out of the 24 were present in the sitting.
In his remarks the Speaker told the lawmakers that 15 bills have been seeking to alter the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, where the Majority leader Henry Yenkwap, member representing Shendam moved for the subjection of the bills to the plenary and was seconded by Abubakar Mohammed Ballo member representing Qua’an pan .
In the order of proceedings, the Majority leader, Hon Henry Yenkwap, member representing Shendam constituency tendered apologies on behalf of the Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon Saleh Shehu Yipmong, Rt Hon. Yusuf Babayo Gagdi, Rt Hon Ibrahim Baba Hassan, Hon Na’ang, Hon Ezekiel Afon, Hon. Saleh Adamu Mavo, Hon Alice Temlong.
According to the Speaker, the bills include the short title of the bill of the fourth alteration bill of 2017 and the alteration act No 2, 2017 seeking to alter sections 2 , 82 and 122 .
“This act seeks to minimize the period of expenditure before the budget passage from 6 months to 3, appropriation bills to encourage early presentation and passage of appropriation bills .
“The alteration act No 4, 2017, seeks to alter only one section 121 to provide for direct funding of the State Houses of Assembly , 121(3a&b) and the Judiciary from the consolidated revenue fund of the state.
“The alteration act No. 5, 2017 seeks to alter sections 165 by abolishing the Joint Account empowering each local government council to maintain its own account, provide for savings in the Federal account allocation committee before distribution.
“The alteration act no 6, 2017 sections 7 and 318 by providing that all local government councils that are not democratically elected shall not be entitled to revenue from the federation account.
“The alteration act no 8, 2017, seeks to alter 6 sections – sections 4, section 67, section 68, section 93 and section 109 to provide immunity for members of the legislature in respect of what they say or write at the plenary or committee proceedings and to institutionalize legislative bureaucracy.
“The alteration act no 9, 2017 ,seeks to alter 2 sections, 134, 179 and creating a new section 225A to provide INEC with sufficient time to conduct bye election and provide grounds for de-registration of political parties.
“The alteration act No 14, 2017, 6 sections to provide for independent candidates in elections received overwhelming votes.
“The alteration Act No 15, 2017 seeks to alter 6 section as well as the 3rd schedule to change the name “Nigeria Police Force”, to “Nigeria Police” with 16 votes no single member objected.
“The alteration Act No 16, 2017 seeks to alter 2 sections 137 and 182 to disqualify a person who was sworn in as president or Governor from being elected to the same office for more than a single term, all members voted in favour .
“The alteration Act No. 20, 2017 seeks to alter 11 sections and 2 schedules, the 3rd alteration No. 3 ,2911 to further strengthen the judiciary for speedy dispensation of justice. All members voted in favour.
“The alteration act No 21, 2017 seeks to alter sections 285 to provide time for the determination of pre-election matters was all voted in favour of.
“The alteration Act No. 22, 2017 seeks to insert a heading to reflect the establishment and core functions of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
“The alteration act No 24 , 2017 seeks to alter sections 9 to provide the procedure for passing a constitutional alteration bill where the President withholds assent”.
Meanwhile, all the amendments received unanimous adoption by the house members.
Responding, President of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, Plateau state chapter, Comrade Samson Mafuyai expressed joy over the Plateau State House of Assembly for their express passage of 14 bills seeking to address numerous Nigerian problems as a welcome development.
According to him, “the absence of local government autonomy would have led to returning Nigeria to the days of the military junta so we mobilized our members to witness the proceedings and know the next action to be taken and all members keyed in”.
He condemned the APC committee reports by Nasiru ElRufai asking all their members to disregard the opinion of the general public as “selfish and greedy”.