Senate lacks power to draft new Constitution, says Omo-Agege

The Senate yesterday confirmed that it would be impossible for the National Assembly to produce a brand new Constitution for Nigeria.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, Ovie Omo-Agege, indicated the impossibility of the task in his welcome address at the National Public Hearing on the review of the Constitution in Abuja.

His indication came amid agitations for the National Assembly to establish a process that would lead to the making of a new Constitution for the country.

But Omo-Agege said while the agitations were germane, the 1999 Constitution (as amended) does not include a clause on how to produce a fresh document.

He said: “Now, some of our compatriots have urged that rather than amend the Constitution, we should make a new one altogether.

“We respect this opinion, and we believe it is a most desirable proposition. However, we are conducting this exercise in accordance with the extant legal order, which is the 1999 Constitution.

“Specifically, Section 9 of the Constitution empowers the National Assembly to alter the provisions of the Constitution and prescribes the manner in which it is to be done.

“Unfortunately, it does not make similar provision or provide mechanism for replacing or re-writing an entirely new Constitution.”



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