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Constitutional amendment: Jonathan Lied, Says Reps

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja – The House of Representatives has said President Goodluck

Jonathan lied to Nigerians by saying that the National Assembly did not meet the constitutional requirement for amending the constitution.

It said on Thursday that four- fifths of 360 membership of the House is 288 and 317 members voted in support of  the alteration and approval which is above four- fifths of members.

A member of House ad- hoc committee on the review of the constitution Hon. Samson Osagie, briefing House press corps said it is not correct for the President to say requirement for the amendment of the constitution is not met?

Recalled that President  Jonathan, told the House that the it will be unconstitutional  for him to assent to the amended 1999 Constitution (fourth alteration), as there is no credible evidence that it satisfied strict requirements of constitutional amendment.

The House said ” National Assembly met the requirement of the said section 9 (3) for the fifths votes of members of each House. A reference to the Votes and proceedings of a House of Representatives

for Wednesday 24 July, 2013, No.15 at page 117 shows that for the alteration of Section 9, attendance of members as registered was 338. The Senate also voted  accordingly.”

Osagie said that ” four- fifths of 360 membership of the is 288. It is therefore not correct for the President to have stated that the requirement of Section 9(3) was not met.”

The President had in his refusal to sign the amended constitution said alteration to constitution cannot be valid with mere voice votes unless supported by the votes of not less than four-fifths majority all members of National Assembly and two-thirds of all the 36 State Houses of Assembly.

The House also said the President question Section 45A of the Fourth Alteration Act 2015, which seeks guarantee the right to free basic education and 45B which seek  to guarantee right to free primary and maternal care services. Reply the President, the House said

“ordinarily, it is not every details of a provision that should be spelt out in the constitution as the institutions and organs against whom constitutional guaranteed rights are usually sought to be obtained from are known by the citizenry adding,  that in the event of a disputed on this, the interpretative role of the Courts come into play.

” The compulsory free United Basic Education , Act, 2004 and the National Health Act, 2014 contain provisions that already seek to expound on the substance of the new Constitutional mandates.  Further legislation or statute may be required to spell out implementation issues.”

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