Nigerian Governors Meet On Constitutional Amendment

The governors of Nigeria’s 36 states under the aegis of Nigeria Governor Forum (NGF) on Wednesday met and discussed the ongoing process of amending the 1999 constitution.

Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, the Forum chairman while speaking to newsmen in Abuja, said the meeting discussed the presentation made to it by the chairman of the constitution amendment committee, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, during its last meeting.

“The Deputy Senate President was here with us to brief us on the harmonized position of the two houses for the task of the schedule of the amendment of the Nigeria constitution.

“Because of its importance, we decided to hold this extraordinary meeting so that we could deliberate,” he said.

Mr. Yari said the governors had wanted to invite the Conference of Speakers of State Assemblies so as to “collectively look at what was submitted for the betterment of the nation.”

The conference of speakers had held a meeting in Yola, Adamawa State, two weeks ago, to also discuss the constitutional amendment.

A major highlight of the meeting of the speakers was their decision to grant full autonomy to local government areas.

It is believed that governors are against granting autonomy to local governments because of their perceived need to continue to control funds allocated to the council areas in their states.

Mr. Yari, however, said the governors had agreed that “the constitution is being amended for posterity and not for any other interest.”

He also said the NGF has information that the two chambers of the National Assembly are having difficulty harmonizing their positions on the amendments to the constitution.

“So probably by next week, that is on the 18th, the Speaker of the House of Representatives or his representative will come and make his own presentation to us so that we look at it too,” he said.

The Zamfara State governor said issues such as “national interest, devolution of powers, and political agitations were not taken into considerations in that amendment.”

He said as leaders, the governors consider it important for these issues to be captured for the good of the nation.


EDITORIAL: A Much Needed Midterm Appraisal

The issue of peaceful co-existence amongst the various nationalities in a multi-ethnic society
will never go away.  For this reason the ‘national question’ will always be on the front-burner as we move towards (with due acknowledgement to the framers of the American Constitution) ‘an ever perfect union’.

We therefore give great kudos to Urban Media Resource Limited, organisers of today’s One-day conference on the second anniversary of the South-West involvement in national governance, with the major theme: “South-West to Abuja: A midterm appraisal”. The conference goes to the heart of several key options that have always starred the South-West region of Nigeria in the face.

Historically, there have always been contending forces and factors in play, trying to determine the role the South-West should play in the centre. This dilemma came to the fore after the pivotal 1959 pre-independence central (it was not yet federal at the time) general elections. The somewhat disappointing results of the dominant party in the then Western Region, the Action Group (AG) as well as the subsequent inability to put together a working alliance with other parties in order to attain the majority in the Central House of Representatives needed to form a government was the trajectory that opened up the schism which eventually created a rupture in the party.

We must learn from the cause and effects of the tragic events leading to the fracture in Western Nigeria in 1962, as we are again at a significant crossroad. Urban Media’s midterm appraisal is therefore a way to answer the eternal question – ‘What is to be done?’ The organisers in the attempt to unravel the puzzle have sensibly divided the central theme into three sub-themes. These will encompass – Sub-Theme I: The Southwest in National Governance: An Appraisal of the First two years by Prof. Bolaji Aluko. Sub-Theme II: From Osun To Abuja: Investing in Social Infrastructure in a Recession by Dr. Charles Adediji Akinola. Sub-Theme III: Federalising Political Parties to conform with Local needs – APC as a case point by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi.

In discussing the sensibly laid out sub-themes, a very seminal core will undoubtedly come out. We are full of commendations for this sensible, methodological approach. For as the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has with characteristic foresight pointed out, the critical issue of our epoch must not be reduced to vacuous sloganeering which bifurcates the real issues. We expect the issues to be as distilled as can possibly be in the circumstances that the country, nay the Southwest has found herself. The forewarning of Ogbeni Aregbesola has since been endorsed by Prof. Wole Soyinka, who this week stated that “…So, when people use words like ‘restructuring, reconfiguring or call it reconfiguration, return to status quo, or call it reformulating the protocols of our association or used a single word like restructuring, it doesn’t matter. Everybody knows what we are talking about. That is number one.

“Also, there are those who try to divert the attention away from the main issue by mouthing platitudes…”

 Once again, we commend Urban Media Resource Limited for introducing analytical rigour into the discourse, this is a vital ingredient in the construction of a pathway for lasting solutions to the nation’s multifaceted problems.

The output of serious minded initiatives such as the midterm appraisal will be a very good roadmap and resource material as the country’s nationality groupings and components work out a vitally needed, national democratic agreement on the basis of peaceful co-existence in one country. In this view we must have at the back of our minds the German view of achieving consensus. According to the Germans – “A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest pie”. Of course the old but undying art of forging consensus can be quite ardous to the point of being frustrating at times; what history informs however is that the outcomes are oftentimes more enduring.

As we forge the necessary national compromise, the vital inputs of serious-minded consensus seekers and constitutionalists such as our own Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Chief Bisi Akande, Prof Wole Soyinka and groups such as Urban Media Resource Limited will be acknowledged.‘

“State of Osun” Not An Aberration To 1999 Constitution – Osun AG

Dr Ajibola Basiru, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the State of Osun, on Wednesday told an Osun State High Court that the use of “State of Osun” instead of Osun State by the Rauf Aregbesola’s government did not contravene the 1999 Constitution.

The state Chief Law officer was in court to defend Governor Aregbesola in a case instituted by a human rights activist, Bar. Kanmi Ajibola on the recently signed law tagged “State of Osun Land Use Charge Law 2016” in which he urged the court to declare the said law illegal, null and void.

Ajibola has contended among other things in his suit No. HIL/14/2016 that the law made by the state House of Assembly and signed by Governor Aregbesola under the name “State of Osun” was unconstitutional.

While citing many constitutional provisions and other relevant authorities to buttress his position, the plaintiff explained that “State of Osun” and Osun State did not mean the same thing and that “State of Osun” is strange and unknown to the 1999 constitution.

He averred that based on the seventh schedule of the constitution, both the governor and the lawmakers were administered into the office as officials of Osun State and not “State of Osun”.

He urged the court to nullify the Land Use Law Charge 2016 and to declare as illegal all other decisions and actions taken so far by the Aregbesola’s administration with the use of the name and reference “State of Osun”.

But the AG who led the state legal team from the Ministry of Justice faulted Ajibola’s arguments when he contended that the plaintiff erred in law, saying Aregbesola’s administration has done nothing wrong against the spirit of the 1999 constitution.

He took all the issues raised by the plaintiff one after the other by citing sections of the constitutional provisions and concluded that “by describing itself as, “State of Osun House of Assembly”, as it rightly did, the House of Assembly has not contravened any provisions of the 1999 constitution and the court is urged to hold so”.

“Therefore, it is submitted that reference to either itself or the law it made with the phrase ‘State of Osun’ has not in any way rendered the constitutional powers of the House of Assembly to make law unconstitutionally.

“The House of Assembly can add any prefix to its name as it wishes and desires and the same thing goes with the law it made so far the key words “Osun” and “State” are there no prejudice is done to the constitution, the Federal Government and the co-federating states”, the AG submitted.

The Director of Legal Services of the state House of Assembly, Bar. Rachael Ojinmi represented the state’s 26 lawmakers as the second defendants in the suit.

After the adoption of addresses by the plaintiff and the respondents, the presiding judge, Justice Yinka Afolabi fixed the final judgment of the matter to November 14, 2017.

It would be recalled that Justice Afolabi had shifted the judgment date twice by formulating further questions on the suit to be addressed by the plaintiff and the defendants.



This memorandum was initially presented by the State Government of Osun in response to the call by the law-making body for contribution to the amendment of the Nigerian Constitution.

The document emerged after contributions have been made by different stakeholders in the state, in an exercise coordinated by the constitution review committee set up for that purpose, under the leadership of Barrister Gbadegesin Adedeji, a former Attorney General of the state. The committee also had on board brilliant legal minds and foremost federal scholars.

When the previous Federal administration set up a Constitutional Conference in 2014, the State Government also presented this memorandum of the Conference and made copies available to the delegates to the conference. While the conference was ongoing, advertorials containing this memorandum were placed by the state government in two national dailies, The Nation and Daily Independence.

The memorandum is now being made public as our own contribution to the important national debate on the restructuring of Nigeria.

It is our belief at the State Government of Osun that the need and strident call for restructuring the Nigerian Federal system should not be reduced to mere political sloganeering but seen as a serious issue worthy of consideration by all patriots. It must therefore be rich, robust and backed with concrete and pragmatic proposals.

The recommendations in this memorandum are important practical suggestions aimed at giving life to the issue of restructuring, taking it beyond mere voluble political rhetoric and including forums and ways on its implementation.

It is our sincere hope that the public will find it useful as we engage in a serious national discourse for the evolution of a just, humane, federal and democratic African society that will serve the present and future generations.

Thank you.

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola

State Governor of Osun



1.1       The Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution made a Public Announcement in the National Dailies, including the Punch Newspaper of Sunday, May 6th 2012, that it has commenced the processes of further amendment to the Provisions of the 1999 Constitution and therefore called on the general Public, Civil Society Organisation, Professional bodies and other interested groups to submit memoranda on the following issues:

  • Devolution of Powers;
  • Creation of more States;
  • Recognition of the Six Geo-Political Zones in the Constitution;
  • Role for Traditional Rulers;
  • Local Government;
  • Taking out the following from the Constitution:
  • Land Use Act;
  • NYSC;
  • Code of Conduct;
  • Fiscal Federalism;
  • Amendment of Provisions relating to Amendment of the Constitution, State Creation and Boundary Adjustment – to remove ambiguities;
  • Immunity Clause;
  • Nigeria Police;
  • Judiciary;
  • Executive;
  • Rotation of Executive Office;
  • Gender and Special Group;
  • Mayoral Status for the Federal Capital Territory Administration;
  • Residency and Indigene Provisions.

1.2       In response to this, the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, directed that the State of Osun, being one of the Federating States in Nigeria, should contribute immensely to the debate by constituting the State Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution to aggregate the views of Osun citizens. The names of the Committee members are hereunder:

  • Chief Barrister G.M. Adedeji Chairman
  • Barrister Adewale Afolabi –Attorney-General  Member

and Commissioner for Justice represented by

Adulrasak Adeoye, SSA to Governor on Legal Matters.

  • Ajibola Basiru Esq – Honourable Commissioner, Member

Regional Integration and Special Duties.

  • Gbenga Awosode Esq Member
  • Chief (Mrs) C.J . Aremu Member
  • Chief (Barrister) Talib Bello Member
  • Prince Akinloye Ajibola Oluseye             Member

Ola Oluwa LG     (Osun West Senatorial District)

  • (Barrister) Ipoola Aderemi Binuyo Member

Ife North LG (Osun East Senatorial District)

  • (Barrister) Adebayo Waseeu Gbola Member

Olorunda LG (Osun Central Senatorial District)

  • Tayo Oyewale Esq Member
  • Olayinka Okedara Esq Member
  • Chief (Mrs.) Joke Olatunde             Member
  • Sanusi Hadizat Nike Member
  • Adesina K.O.             Secretary
  • Demola Yaya Rappoteur


1.3       The Terms of Reference of the Committee are as follows:

  • “To call for and receive Memoranda from the citizens of the State of Osun on the various areas of the Constitution as indicated above;


  • To organize public hearings on the various aspects of the Constitution;



  • To aggregate various views emanating from the Memoranda submitted as well as the public hearing on the subject matter;


  • To submit the report emanating from the exercise to the Governor as the State of Osun Memoranda to be submitted to the Senate Committee on the review of 1999 Constitution;


  • The Committee is given a maximum of (3) weeks from Thursday, 31st May to Tuesday 19th June, 2012 to conclude its assignment and submit to the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on the Review of the Constitution not later than Friday, 22nd June, 2012 which is the expected deadline indicated in the publication.”

1.4       After its inauguration, the Committee conducted a 3-day public hearing having received numerous memoranda and materials with respect to reviewing of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

1.5       This report, therefore, represents various memoranda, views, agitations, research and publication of various groups, community leaders, individuals, scholars, traditional rulers, Jurists, etcetera in the State of Osun.


2.1       The subject matter of Devolution of Powers in Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Second Schedule, Parts (i and ii) generated interesting proposals from prominent individuals and associations in the State of Osun.  Virtually all memoranda submitted are in agreement as regards reduction of powers allocated to the Federal Government in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).



2.2       Basic facts that can be deduced from these memoranda are summarized thus:

  • Constitutional recognition should be given to geo-political zones/regions.
  • That the geo-political zones or regions should be the Federating Units
  • That the geo-political zones/regions should be created using such parameters as culture, land, nationality and political expediency
  • More powers should be taken away from the centre to the Federating Units.
  • That only matters bordering on the collective interest of the generality of Nigerians like Foreign Affairs, Defence, Currency, among others, should be left with the Central Government.
  • Amendment of the Constitution should include a clause for self-determination.
  • The National Assembly should be bi-camera but election to the House of Representatives should reflect extant Electoral Act incorporating Justice Uwais Panel reports in its entirety.
  • Senators should be on part-time basis and receive sitting allowances only which should be determined by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission (RAMFAC) while the salary and emoluments of members of the House of Representatives should not be higher than that of the most senior public servant in the employment of the central government.
  • That each Region, when constitutionally recognized, should be allowed to make and have its own Constitution.
  • In view of the above, chapter 1 of the 1999 Constitution should be amended to make the Constitution supreme in areas allocated to the Central Government. However, if our proposal on devolution of power is accepted, then it will affect all other provisions of the 1999 Constitution which is essentially unitary in nature, orientation and philosophy to take care of heterogeneous nature of Nigerian society.
  • In the event of any inconsistency or conflict between the laws of the Geo-political Zones or Regions and that of Central government, it should be resolved by the Central Supreme Court.
  • The right of self determination should be guaranteed by the Constitution.
  • In place of Section 3 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which provides for the 36 States of the Federation, only the Geo-political Zone/ Regions should be listed which political Zones/ Regions have been informally recognized by the people of Nigeria. The only issue to resolve is power and responsibility to be allotted to each zone
  • Section 4 of the Constitution should be preserved with a caveat that chapter V of the Constitution which contains Sections 47 to 89 should reflect the position of the people of the State of Osun that the geo-political zone/region should nominate Senators to Senate of the Central Government.



3.1       A true Federal administration based on parliamentary system of government should be entrenched rather than the existing presidential system because parliamentary system allows for collaboration and will greatly assist in reducing the cost of governance.

3.2       Executive Powers at the federal level should be exercised by a Presidium of six elected Presidents from each of the six regions for a single term of six years with each president heading the government for one year on a rotational basis while each of them will have ministerial responsibilities on the federal matters for the term.  With this arrangement, no region will claim marginalization.



4.1       Rather than creating more states, existing ones should be synergized into regions which will allow them tap each other’s resource and strength for faster growth. This position, we hold, in consonance of our agitation for Geo-political Zone and devolution of power. Nigeria’s development has been partly arrested by the huge resources in maintaining the existing state structure.


5.1       Nigeria is at present a strange federal arrangement of 36 federating units that are largely unviable. Power is over concentrated in the centre and radiates from there to the States, at the pleasure of the Federal Government. Resources allocation formula tilts unjustifiably in favour of the centre, breeding wastes, corruption, ineptitude and under-development of the constituent States.

5.2       The cause of true federalism would be well and truly served if we return to the pre-1966 evolutionary path. That is, a balanced Federal structure which recognizes fully the legitimate claims of all these groups for self determination, and where no single entity among the federating units will be strong or powerful enough to hold the others to ransom, but where each of the federating units is large enough both in terms of size and population as well as of resources, to be viable, self-reliant and dynamic.

5.3       Arising from various different positions and strong argument canvassed for each position in the Memoranda to juxtapose this positions with other views in materials available, we recommend that the new amendment to the Constitution makes provisions to recognize the following Zones as Constituent Units of the Nigerian Federation.

5.3.1    NORTH WEST ZONE  –  (Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa, Kano and Kaduna States)

5.3.2    NORTH CENTRAL ZONE – (Plateau, Nasarawa, Kwara, Kogi,                       Niger and Benue States)

5.3.3    NORTH EAST ZONE – (Yobe, Bornu, Adamawa, Gombe, Taraba and Bauchi States)

5.3.4    SOUTH WEST ZONE – (Oyo, Ogun. Ondo, Osun, Ekiti and Lagos States)

5.3.5    SOUTH EAST ZONE – (Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Abia and Ebonyi States)

5.3.6    SOUTH SOUTH ZONE – (Cross Rivers, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Edo, Delta and Bayelsa States)

5.4       We are of the strong conviction that the present 36 States cannot, properly speaking, be the constituent units of the Nigerian Union as they were not arrived at on the basis of any rational, cultural, linguistic, political or economic parameters but were largely products of whims, caprices and hegemonic designs of privileged past Heads of State or Presidents (as the case may be) who used their position to the advantage of their people.  We therefore hold the position and recommend the adoption of Regional or Zonal Structure. These regional or zonal structures should be accorded Constitutional recognition.  Each Region/Zone should have its own Constitution or be constitutionally empowered to enter into such agreements on administrative, economic and other activities, as may be approved by the Regional Legislatures.


6.1       In view of the fact that traditional institutions must be respected as the custodian of custom and culture of the people and because of the historical and cultural values bestowed on the traditional institutions which must at all time be protected, the call for Constitutional role for traditional rulers is unnecessary and uncalled for.  This is because the jurisdiction of each traditional ruler is restricted to his Local Government Area or a part thereof.

6.2       However, Nigeria being a multi ethnic, multi cultural country which precludes it from having a unified traditional system, It is therefore, submitted that the Federal Constitution should NOT accord/include any role for the traditional Institution. At best, each Regional Assembly should, in pursuance of its residual power, make such laws as it may deem fit to accord honor and specific responsibility to its traditional institutions.


7.1       The creation, administration and control of local Government should be left to the States Houses of Assembly whether geo-political zone/region is recognized or not. Further, local governments should not be a basis for revenue sharing among the federating units.


8.1       LAND USE ACT– The current Land Use Act which was enshrined in the constitution by its military authors should be repealed, while customary forms of land ownership shall be adopted by each Region/Zone.

8.2       NYSC– National Youth Service Scheme which was established in 1973 had made tremendous positive impact in Nigeria and on our youths in the area of National integration, cultural exposure, social and marriage interaction and of course employment opportunities. However, from memoranda submitted, the general view is that the scheme be retained but to be strongly re-structured so as to bring back the lost glory.   We equally adopt this position and recommend that the security of the Corps members be taken as a paramount consideration by the Government. The non-professional Corps members be allowed to learn a trade or skills during the service year to allow them to be independent and self employed after the programme. In addition, we recommend that the lives of Corps members be insured and be allowed to serve within their Geo-political Zone/Region.

8.3       CODE OF CONDUCT– Just like the Land Use Act and NYSC, the Code of Conduct Bureau established by Section 153 of 1999 Constitution with noble and lofty objectives of checking tendency of Public office holders who abuse their positions or offices. By the evidence and argument of different opinions in the memoranda, we recommend that Code of Conduct be retained in the Constitution.  We propose further that new amendment be made to stipulate what should be the Code of Conduct and retained penalties for non observance/compliance of same.


9.1       Views on Fiscal Federation are based on Power Devolution agenda. The general opinion is that each geo-political zone should control its resources with certain percentage as may be determined by the Zone to Central Government.  That all manners of taxes, including VAT, shall be the exclusive preserve of the geo-political zone/region except those dealing directly with matters relating to Central Government.


10.1     Recognition of geo-political zone/region will ease ambiguity and difficulties associated with amendment of the constitution, state creation and boundary adjustment as each geo-political zone/region will have its own constitution, to determine the viability of the state and of course negotiate boundary issues with neighboring zone/ region or may be referred to the Central Supreme Court of Nigeria, as the case may be.

10.2     The process of amendment in Section 9 of the 1999 Constitution is cumbersome. We recommend that the National Assembly should have major power of amending the Constitution and leave the residual power to the State Assembly.


11.1     The 1999 Constitution exempts certain categories of public officers from prosecution while in office.

11.2     PUBLIC OFFICER AFFECTED:- This section applies to a person holding the office of President or Vice President, Governor or Deputy Governor and the reference in this Section to “period of office” is a reference to period of office the person holding such office is required to perform the functions of the office.

11.3     The view of the people is that Section 308 (1), (2) and (3) should be retained in its present form as contained in the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

11.4     REASON(S):- This section and sub sections have not conferred a wholesale immunity on the persons holding the office but only as at the period they are incumbent of the offices.  The provisions are only related to President, Vice President, Governor and Deputy Governor.  The provisions on immunity do not affect the other officers of the Government and also the Legislative arm of the Government.  The purpose of the provision is that removing the immunity clause could distract the President, Vice President State Governors and their Deputies as opposition parties or mischievous individuals could institute criminal charges against them thereby distracting the due functions of the President, Vice President, Governor or Deputy Governors.

11.5     IMPLEMENTATION:- The present provisions on immunity had been enforced on the holders at their exit from office – such cases included Joshua Dariye (Plateau) Depriye Alamesiagha (Bayelsa) James Ibori (Delta) and Lucky Igbinedion (Edo).

11.6     The opinion of our people is that this section be retained but will wish to comment on the implementation by investigation authorities on the due enforcement of the provisions –

  • The investigations should not wait until the exit of the affected officials.
  • The trial should not be allowed to be prolonged over so many years as in the recent cases.
  • The plea bargain should follow the British type where the guilty shall not only be allowed to forfeit the ill-gotten wealth but should also be made to serve terms of imprisonment as provided under the law.
  1. NIGERIA POLICE – Section 214 (10 and (2), Section 215 (1), (2), (3) and (4)

12.1     The issues agitating the minds of individual are whether the policing system in Nigeria should be under the control of the Central Government or Regional Government?

12.2     The agitation for a State Police is borne out of the present ineffectiveness of the Federal Police to provide Security and other malfeasance perpetrated by the Police in their discharge of their Constitutional duties.

12.3     HIND SIGHT:- The establishment or the provision of a Federal Police is borne out of the fact that in the previous years during the Nigeria Constitutional evolution, there then existed then:

(i)        Local Government Police in the Southern States and

(ii)       Native Authority Police in the North.

12.4     The atrocities perpetrated by these established State Police made the government of that time to disband the entire Local Government Police and the Native Authority Police, although, they were made to be trained by the Nigeria Police.

12.5     LEVEL PLAY GROUND:- There is no friction on the performance of the Police vis-à-vis the State where they do operate – However, by section 215 (4) of the 1999 Constitution where a Commissioner of Police will –

12.5.1  have the audacity to decline to enforce the instruction of the State Governor who is the Chief Security Officer of the State;

12.5.2  Invade the territory of a State Governor as an army of occupation contrary to the wishes of the State Governor;

12.5.3  Performing act and other authorized duties that are inconsistent to the directives of the State Governor and

12.5.4  Several infractions of the Law which are not in conformity with the wishes of the State – as was done in Lagos during the workers protest.

12.6     The opinion of the people of Osun is as follow:

12.6.1  The removal in its entirety the proviso relating to the provisions of section 215 (4) of the 1999 constitution.

12.6.2  That each Region be allowed to establish its own Police Force that will operate and be subject to the directives of the Regional Inspector General of Police in the Region who derives his powers from the Regional authorities.

  1. JUDICIARY:- Section 6,(1) – (5) (a) – (k). Section 230, Section 237 – 284.

13.1     The 1999 Constitution (as amended) vested the judicial powers of the Federation in the Courts Section 6(1), the State Judicial Power (Section 6 (2)) and from Sections 237 – 284 enumerated the composition and the Jurisdiction of each of the Courts.

13.2     The Committee was inundated with memoranda on this particular matter.

13.3     It is recommended that the present arrangement on the court system is unitary and not conducive to genuine federalism.

13.4     It is recommended that each region should have its own appellate system up to the Regional Supreme Court but that appellate jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Appeal and the Federal Supreme Court should relate to matters in the Exclusive powers of the central government and constitutional matters including election petitions.

13.5     ELECTION PETITION TRIBUNALS:- It is observed that the time limitation for determination of election petition in Section 285 of the Constitution and the rigid literalist approach of the constitution has occasioned patent injustice in many cases and as such the provision must be urgently amended.


13.6     The focus on the jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court has generated a heated and dangerous argument in our legal system owing to the expansive jurisdiction of the court in recently amended 1999 Constitution.

13.7     RECOMMENDATION: The Committee recommends the following:

13.7.1The jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court should be limited to cases arising from wages and lock-outs by Civil Servants, Public Servants but matters concerning political office holders should be handled by State High Court.

13.7.2National Industrial Court does not have sufficient logistics to cope with its present jurisdiction which has become too unwieldy.

13.7.3The National Industrial Court should concentrate on

(i)        Inter or Intra trade union disputes;

(ii)       Trade disputes in industries and companies simpliciter;

(iii)      disputes arising from wages between the Federal Government and its workers.


13.8     The Committee recommends the following:

13.8.1Section 251 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which gives jurisdiction to the Federal High Court on matters in which the Federal Government or any of its agencies is involved should be abolished. This is because it confers undue advantage on the federal Government as a party.  Litigants should be free to initiate actions in any Federal or State High Court.

13.9     All disputes arising from land should be tried by State High Court.

Boundary Commission

13.10   The Committee further recommends that the National Boundary Commission should be abolished.

13.11Inter-State boundary disputes should be handled by the Supreme Court and all cases arising from inter Local Government and inter community land disputes should be handled by the State High Courts. This is because it has been evidently established from boundary disputes cases that those Commissions do not seem to possess courage and force of law to determine the disputes thereby make the disputes last too long while parties often resort to self help, kill and main.

  1. EXECUTIVE:- Section 5 (1) and Section 130 of the 1999 Constitution:-

14.1     The Executive powers of the Federation section 5 (1) shall be vested in the Presidium as earlier indicated.

14.2     The committee is of the view that:

14.2.1  True Federalism is not being practiced by the Executive

14.2.2  The executive is over bloated by appointments provided for in the Constitution and myriads of appointment not provided for in the constitution.

14.2.3  The appointment of support staff for the Executive are too unwieldy with some overlapping responsibilities.

14.3     The committee therefore recommends as follows:

14.3.1  That the appointment of Ministers, Special Advisers and other appointments not provided in the Constitution be pruned down considerably.

14.3.2  The Exclusive Legislative List should relate to matters of National Interest and Concurrent List should be expanded to allow State Governments to have control over matters within their domain.

14.3.3  The Oransanye Committee Report should be implemented without any further delay.

14.3.4  The reports of all commissions of inquiry that were set up in the past and in the very immediate past by the government particularly as they concern those who have in one way or the other truncated the fortunes of this country and which have remained in the custody of the government.  The Committee recommends that a Constitutional provision be made for the implementation or issuance of White Paper on the reports for the purpose of putting into effect the report of such Commission of Enquiry.


15.1     Already, government at all levels and individual organizations have been very passionate on the issue of gender and special people.  Ditto with the International donor agencies. Gender and special group should be constitutionally empowered such that the position will not be abused.   The law at present does not prevent any woman from contending with any man in all sphere of life be it education, politics, farming etc.  But the 30% arrangement for women can be prescribed for public offices.


16.1     A cursory look at the positions in Memoranda gave us conviction that administration in the Federal Capital Territory should be through free and fair electoral process in addition to the current democratically managed six area councils. This is how it is done in America and other countries.


17.1     Experience has shown that for Nigerians to have a sense of belonging and contribute positively to the development of where he/she lives or resides and avoid inferiority complex, the present position that gives equal rights to citizens to hold political position in any part of the country irrespective of where he/she hail from be maintained.  But this dos not mean that he or she shall be entitled to claim to be an indigene or native of that State or community.


18.1     There is need for a fundamental restructuring of the Military. There should be a regional based army but with a central control just like in India.


19.1     The review of the 1999 Constitution, no doubt, is of great interest to the good people of the State of Osun who have for many years been in the forefront in the struggles and agitations for a balanced federation, in place of a strange Federal structure where power is over centralized, leading to sundry deficiencies.  For unity in diversity, for all-round development, for equal opportunity for all, for a polity where no one is oppressed, and where there is iron-cast guarantee for the fundamental human rights of all citizens, a drastic review of the 1999 Constitution, is our peoples minimum demand or request.

19.2     Finally, we appreciate the National Assembly for throwing the issue of the constitutional amendment to the public for participation and we hope that a dispassionate consideration to the submissions by all concerned.

Buhari Notifies National Assembly On Resumption Of Office

President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday, wrote the National Assembly as required by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) about his resumption to office as the President of Nigeria.

The president signed the letter of notice for dispatch to Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, hours after his nationwide broadcast to the nation Monday morning.

The presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, disclosed the development in a statement on Monday afternoon.

“In line with constitutional provision, President Muhammadu Buhari has written the National Assembly, notifying the legislature of his return to office, after returning from medical vacation in London,” disclosed Mr. Adesina.

Mr. Buhari returned to the country on Saturday, after leaving the country on May 7. In his letter dated August 21, his spokesperson said, he told the Senate as well as the House of Representatives that he was resuming office.

“In compliance with Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), I write to intimate that I have resumed my functions as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria with effect from Monday, 21st August, 2017, after my medical follow-up in the United Kingdom,” the president stated.

While Mr. Buhari was on medical vacation, his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, was “coordinating” the affairs of the country in acting capacity.

REVEALED: UK Doctors Yet To Diagnose Buhari’s Ailment

Despite several months of medication and intensive care in the United Kingdom (UK), President Muhammadu Buhari’s doctors are yet to diagnose what the president’s illness is all about.

According to credible source in the presidency that despite series of tests and treatments from renowned medical practitioners both within and outside the UK, nobody has been able to pinpoint what ails the president except that he has completely lost his appetite for food.

The failure of the presidency to tell Nigerians the actual state of health of the president has fueled speculations in the country with many alleging that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is guilty of what it accused the then ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) when the late President Umaru Yar’Adua held sway.

But according to our source, “Those accusing the presidency of being economical with the truth on the actual state of health of the president are missing the point because you can only disclose what you know.

“As at today, nobody knows the kind of ailment battling Mr President. Even his doctors in the UK don’t know what is wrong with him. Lots of tests have been done; in fact, they have done everything humanly possible but they still can’t detect what is wrong with him. That is why the doctors have decided to place him under long observation to see if they can diagnose what is wrong with him on the long run.

“For those of us who are close to President Buhari, he can’t stay for a long time without food. He doesn’t have the endurance for long fasting and that is why those referring to him as a religious fanatic are wrong. Here is a man who doesn’t joke with his food but suddenly once he takes a spoon, he throws up. And you know if you don’t eat for a long time, you become weak and emaciated.

“When the condition became critical, they have to devise other means of feeding him, but we’re happy at the level of significant progress he has made in the last couple of weeks”, he said.

He also debunked the claim by some online news media that the president is being treated for acute prostate cancer or battling with Crohn’s disease, a medical condition that could have affected his digestive system.

“From the information we have, every organ of the president is working perfectly. The only problem is his inability to eat well due to loss of appetite. That is why some people are alleging that the president may have been poisoned or under some kind of spiritual attack”, he noted.

Although President Muhammadu Buhari’s first active year in office which was from May 29, 2015, to 2016 was frost with some minor challenges, especially delays associated with appointing his cabinet members, the frustrations and criticism that greeted it left much to be desired.

No sooner had he sorted out some of these issues to settle down to the business of governance came his health challenges.

The first time he took a vacation to undergo medical check-up in London, the United Kingdom was in February 2016.He left the shores of Nigeria for the United Kingdom for a six-day vacation from

February 5 to February 10, 2016. After a formal letter was written to the National Assembly leadership he transferred powers to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had explained that the letter to the National Assembly was in compliance with Section 145 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution.

The spokesperson had assured Nigerians of the well-being of the president and the need not to panic over the state of his health.

He had hinged the vacation on the need for the president to take a break from work as he had worked non-stop for eight months and could break down like every other person.

On January 19, 2017, shortly after resolving the leadership crisis in The Gambia, where Yahaya Jammeh was recalcitrant to hand over power to his successor, President Buhari fell ill again and had to leave the country on another vacation.

As usual, he wrote Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, before bidding Nigeria goodbye to examine his health on January 23, 2017, to be precise.

Nigerians were sympathetic and in fact showed understanding that the president needs to take care of his health issues so that he could function maximally as the nation’s leader.

However, when the 10-day medical leave began to extend to several weeks, rumours began to fly over the actual date of his return, deepening suspicions that his health was far worse than officials were publicly admitting.

Source: Independent Newspaper

Nigeria Needs New Constitution, Not Amendment – Akande

By Ismaeel Uthman

A former governor of Osun State, Chief Adebisi Akande has described the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has the greatest misadventure of the country, saying that the law could not make the progress of Nigeria work.

Akande made call for the replacement of the Constitution with the 1963 Republican Constitution to enable a transition for the writing of a suitable constitution.

The first interim national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) made the remarks at the presentation of a book titled “Nigeria: the Path We Refused to Take” written by Basorun Seinde Arogbofa in Akure.

He said, the 1999 constitution ‘can never be beneficially reviewed’, maintaining that the ongoing constitutional amendments could only ‘totally blot the essence of national values and accelerate the de-amalgamation of Nigeria.”

According to Akande, the Nigerian constitution breeds and protects corrupt practices and impunity in governance, adding that Nigeria began as a controversial state of many nations.

Akande said, “The 1999 Constitution is Nigeria’s greatest misadventure since Lugard’s amalgamation of 1914. The constitution puts emphasis on spending rather than making money, thereby intensifying the battles for supremacy between the legislature and the executive while the judiciary is being corruptly tainted and discredited.

“The constitution breeds and protects corrupt practices and criminal impunities in governance. The 1999 Constitution can never be beneficially reviewed and the ongoing piecemeal adjustments or amendments can only totally blot the essence of national values and accelerate the de-amalgamation of Nigeria.

“All the angels coming from heavens cannot make that constitution work for the progress of Nigeria. It should only be scrapped as a bad relic of military mentality; and it ought to be temporarily replaced with the 1963 Republican Constitution to enable a transition for the writing of a suitable constitution.

“Otherwise, the 1999 constitution would continue to dwarf Nigeria’s economy and stifle the country’s social structure pending a disastrous and catastrophic bankruptcy.

Akande warned against criminal revolution in the country, calling on all Nigerians to begin the search for a better future, just as he prayed for farewell on the way out of the country’s present ‘Sorry pass’.

The APC chieftain also noted that the military involvements in Nigerian politics for 29 out of 57 years of independence has drawn back and miniaturised the sense of democracy and good governance among Nigerian political leaders.

He stated that the military incursion into Nigerian politics has bastardised the political system so much that political discussions are no longer issue-based or interesting, warning that the situation has become very dangerous for the future of the society-particularly among the growing youths.

See Full List of 32 Constitutional Amendments By Senate

Senators have cast their votes to amend sections in the fourth amendment of the 1999 Constitution.

The lawmakers made 32 new amendments to the country’s constitution. See the full list below:

1. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 1, 2017 (Composition of Members of the Council of State) – This bill seeks to amend the Third Schedule to include former Presidents of the Senate and Speakers of the House of Representatives in the composition of the Council of State.

2. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 2, 2017 (Authorisation of Expenditure) – seeks to alter sections 82 and 122 of the Constitution to reduce the period within which the President or Governor of a state may authorise the withdrawal of monies from the consolidated revenue fund in the absence of an appropriation act from 6 months to 3 months.

3. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 3, 2017 (Devolution of Powers) – This seeks to alter the Second Schedule, Part I & II to move certain items to the Concurrent Legislative List to give more legislative powers to States. It also delineates the extent to which the federal legislature and state assemblies can legislate on the items that have been moved to the Concurrent Legislative List.

4. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 4, 2017 (Financial Autonomy of State Legislatures) – This alteration seeks to provide for the funding of the Houses of Assembly of States directly from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State.

5. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 5, 2017 (Distributable Pool Account) – This Bill seeks to alter section 162 of the Constitution to abrogate the State Joint Local Government Accounts and empower each Local Government Council to maintain its own special account into which all allocations due to the Local Government Council shall be directly paid from the Federation Account and from the Government of the State and also make provisions for savings in the Federation Account before distribution to other levels of Government.

6. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 6, 2017 (Local Government) – The alterations here are aimed at strengthening local government administration in Nigeria by guaranteeing the democratic existence, funding, and tenure of local government councils.

7. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 7, 2017 (State Creation and boundary Adjustment) – This essentially seeks to alter section 8 of the Constitution to ensure that only democratically elected local government councils participate in the process of State creation and boundary adjustment. It also removed ambiguities in the extant provisions to enhance clarity with respect to the procedure for state creation.

8. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 8, 2017 (The Legislature) – This alteration seeks among other things to alter sections 4, 51, 67, 68, 93 and 109 of the Constitution to provide immunity for members of the legislature in respect of words spoken or written at plenary sessions or at Committee proceedings; institutionalize legislative bureaucracy in the Constitution like the Civil Service Commission in the executive and the Judicial Service Commission in the judiciary; and, obligate the President to attend a joint meeting of the National Assembly once a year to deliver a state of the nation address.

9. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 9, 2017 (Political Parties and Electoral Matters) – This seeks to alter section 134 & 179 to provide sufficient time for INEC to conduct bye-elections; and section 225 to empower the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to de-register political parties for non-fulfillment of certain conditions such as breach of registration requirements and failure to secure/win either a Presidential, Governorship, Local Government chairmanship or a seat in the National or State Assembly or a Councillorship.

10. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 10, 2017 (Presidential Assent) – This seeks to alter sections 58, 59 and 100 to resolve the impasse where the President or Governor neglects to signify his/her assent to a bill from the National Assembly or withhold such assent. This is to enable timely passage of laws for good governance.

11. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 11, 2017 (Timeframe for submitting the Names Ministerial or Commissioners Nominees) – This Bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to set a timeframe within which the President or a Governor shall forward to the Senate or State House of Assembly names of nominees for confirmation as Ministers or Commissioners; provide for attachment of portfolio and thirty-five percent affirmative action for women.

12. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 12, 2017 (Appointment of Minister from the FCT) – The Bill seeks to alter section 147 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for the appointment of a Minister from the FCT, Abuja to ensure that the FCT is represented in the Executive Council of the Federation.

13. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 13, 2017 (Change of Names of some Local Government Councils) – This Bill seeks to alter the Constitution to provide for a change in the names of some Local Government Councils and the definition of the boundary of the FCT, Abuja.

14. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 14, 2017 (Independent Candidature) – This seeks to alter sections 65, 106, 131, and 177 of the Constitution. This is aimed at expanding the political space and broadening the options for the electorate by allowing for independent candidacy in all elections.

15. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 15, 2017 (The Police) – This Bill seeks to alter the Constitution in sections 34, 35, 39, 214, 215, 216 and the Third Schedule to change the name of the Police from “Nigeria Police Force” to “Nigeria Police” in order to reflect their core mandate.

16. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 16, 2017 (Restriction of Tenure of the President and Governor) – This Bill seeks to restrict a person who was sworn-in as President or Governor to complete the term of the elected President from contesting for the same office for more than one term.

17. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 17, 2017 (Separation of the Office of Accountant-General) – This Bill seeks to alter section 84 of the Constitution to establish the office of the Accountant-General of the Federal Government separate from the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation.

18. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 18, 2017 (Office of the Auditor-General) – This Bill seeks to make the office of the Auditor-General for the Federation and for the State financially independent by placing them on first-line charges in the Consolidated Revenue funds of the Federation and of the States.

19. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 19, 2017 (Separation of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and of the State from the office of the Minister or Commissioner for Justice) – This Bill seeks to alter sections 150, 174, 195, 211, 318 and the Third Schedule to the Constitution to separate the office of the Minister or Commissioner for Justice from that of the Attorney-General of the Federation and of states so as to create an independent office of the Attorney-General of the Federation insulated from partisanship. It also seeks to redefine the role of the Attorney-General, provide a fixed tenure, provide the age and qualification for appointment and also for a more stringent process for the removal of the Attorney General.

20. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 20, 2017 (Judiciary) – This bill contains a vast array of alterations with regards to the Judiciary such as the composition of the National Judicial Council, and empowering Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal to hear certain applications in chambers thereby enhancing the speedy dispensation of justice.

21. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 21, 2017 (Determination of Pre-Election Matters) – This Bill seeks to among other things make provisions for timelines for the determination of pre-election disputes.

22. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 22, 2017 (Civil Defence) – This Bill seeks to reflect the establishment and core functions of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps. It is a consequential amendment because of the inclusion of the national security and civil defence as an item in the Exclusive Legislative List under the Second Schedule to the Constitution.

23. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 23, 2017 (Citizenship and Indigeneship) – This Bills seeks to alter section 25 of the Constitution to guarantee a married woman’s right to choosing either her indigeneship by birth or by marriage for the purposes of appointment or election.

24. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 24, 2017 (Procedure for overriding Presidential veto in Constitutional Alteration) – This Bill seeks to among other things provide the procedure for passing a Constitution Alteration Bill where the President withholds assent.

25. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 25, 2017 (Removal of certain Acts from the Constitution) – This Bill seeks to alter section 315 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to remove the law-making powers of the Executive Arm of Government and delete the National Youth Service Corps Decree, the Public Complaints Commission Act, the National Security Agencies Act and the Land Use Act from the Constitution, so that they can be subject to regular process of amendment.

26. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 26, 2017 (Investments and Securities Tribunal) – This bill seeks to establish the Investments and Securities Tribunal under the Constitution.

27. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 27, 2017 (Reduction of Age Qualification) – This Bill seeks to alter the Sections 65, 106, 131, 177 of the Constitution to reduce the age qualification for the offices of the President and Governor and membership of the Senate, House of Representatives, and the State Houses of Assembly.

28. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 28, 2017 (Authorisation of Expenditure 1) – This Bill seeks to provide for the time within which the President or Governor shall lay the Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly or House of Assembly to encourage the early presentation and passage of Appropriation Bills.

29. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 29, 2017 (Deletion of the NYSC Decree from the Constitution) – The Bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to delete the National Youth Service Corps Decree from the Constitution so that it can be subject to the regular process of amendment.

30. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 30, 2017 (Deletion of the Public Complaints Commission Act from the Constitution) – The Bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to delete the Public Complaints Commission Act from the Constitution so that it can be subject to the regular process of amendment.

31. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 31, 2017 (Deletion of the National Securities Act from the Constitution) – The Bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to delete the National Securities Act from the Constitution so that it can be subject to the regular process of amendment.

32. Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (Fourth Alteration) Bill, No. 32, 2017 (Deletion of the Land Use Act from the Constitution) – The Bill seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to delete the Land Use Act from the Constitution so that it can be subject to the regular process of amendment.

All The Angels From Heaven Can’t Make Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution Work, Says Chief Bisi Akande

The pioneer National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, has said that the Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution is too flawed and is beyond redemption, and thus wants it immediately replaced with the 1963 Republican Constitution.
The former governor of the state of Osun contended that the “piecemeal amendment” of the 1999 Constitution given to the nation by the military will push Nigeria towards disintegration rather than help it progress.
Chief Bisi Akande spoke on Tuesday at the launching of the book, “Nigeria: the Path We Refused to Take,” written by Afenifere’s General Secretary, Basorun Arogbofa, an event which held at the Federal University of Technology, Akure.
According to him, “The 1999 Constitution is Nigeria’s greatest misadventure since Lugard’s amalgamation of 1914.
“The constitution puts emphasis on spending rather than making money, thereby intensifying the battles for supremacy between the legislature and the executive while the judiciary is being corruptly tainted and discredited.
“The constitution breeds and protects corrupt practices and criminal impunity in governance.
“The 1999 Constitution can never be beneficially reviewed and the ongoing piecemeal adjustments or amendments can only totally blot the essence of national values and accelerate the de-amalgamation of Nigeria.
“All the angels coming from heavens cannot make that constitution work for the progress of Nigeria.
“It should only be scrapped as a bad relic of military mentality; and it ought to be temporarily replaced with the 1963 Republican Constitution to enable a transition for the writing of a suitable constitution.
“Otherwise, the 1999 Constitution would continue to dwarf Nigeria’s economy and stifle the country’s social structure pending a disastrous and catastrophic bankruptcy.”
Recall that the All Progressives Progress, only last week set up a committee headed by Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai to define to Nigerians the type of restructuring it wants for the country.