LEGISREPORTS NG- The Senate has requested President Goodluck Jonathan to return the Constitution Amendment bill sent to him by the National Assembly, insisting that the signature page must also be attached.
This was sequel to a point of order, raised by Deputy Senate President and Chairman of the committee on constitution review, senator Ike Ekwerenmadu who in his explaination said that the Senate that the committee could not go ahead with its assignment because President Jonathan failed to attach the original bill to his letter conveying his veto, which is against the practice.
Ekweremadu said the committee decided that the Senate president should ask Jonathan to return the original copy specifically containing the signature page to the chamber.
President Jonathan had on earlier on wednesday, in a letter to the National Assembly, said he is withholding assent to the amendments because they do not satisfy the strict requirements of Section 9(3) of the 1999 Constitution.
The Senate subsequently mandated its Committee on Constitution Amendment, headed by deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, to consider the letter and report back to it.
Ekwerenmadu in his point of order said, “We slated to have a two-day retreat to consider the letter and advise the Senate appropriately. In the course of our sitting we noticed the second to the last paragraph of that letter where the president said he was returning the bill.
“Unfortunately, the bill was not returned with the letter and we could not proceed because we would like to see the returned bill.
“The committee has asked me to raise this point, to request the president of the Senate, to ask the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to send back the original copy of the bill as sent to him, especially the signature page.
“This is to enable us to proceed with our work especially since he had indicated in his own letter that it was accompanied by the bill, so we would like to have the bill in its original form, especially the signature page.”
The Senate president, David Mark, while responding said the order raised by Ekweremadu was ok,adding that urgency must be deployed in sending the letter to the president so that the whole process can be finished early.