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Supreme Court Stops Constitution Amendment Bill

*Asks Both National Assembly, Executive To Maintain status quo

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen – Following a suit filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammad Adoke on the subject – 2015 Constitution Amendment Bill,  the Supreme Court Thursday, stopped the National Assembly (NASS) from going ahead on assenting the bill, despite President Goodluck Jonathan’s decline.

In the ruling by the seven-man panel of judges, the two key parties – NASS and President Jonathan were ordered to maintain the status quo on the matter until June 18, 2015.

It would be recalled President Jonathan in April 2015, filed a suit on the subject at the Supreme Court, seeking it to halt attempt by NASS to pass the 2015 constitution amendment bill into law.

The action followed Mr. President’s earlier decline from assenting the bill, on account of 12 errors in the legal document.

Apparently worried by the possibility of the federal lawmakers deploying their veto, President Jonathan via his Justice Minister, filed the suit to stop the legislators from exercising such power.

Among the errors cited in the suit SC/214/2015 by President Jonathan was that the bill was not passed by four-fifths of the two legislative chambers of the NASS as required in the Sections 48 and 49 of the Nigerian constitution.

The amended bill  which was passed in February 2015, among others, provides for independent candidature for election contest and separation of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation from office of the Minister of Justice; stripping the President, the power to assent to constitution amendment bills.


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