Jacob Segun Olatunji and Kolawole Daniel – Abuja
Members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday kicked against a bill that sought to enable the National Assembly to remove a Governor or Deputy Governor of a State if the need arises.
The bill sponsored by Hon. Edward Gyang Pwajok and Hon. Ali Isa J. C entitled, “A bill for an Act to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to Delete the Proviso to Section 11(4) of the Constitution to enable the National Assembly to remove a Governor or Deputy Governor of a State in Appropriate Circumstances and for Other Related Matters (HB. 794).”
He said that the bill was put forward to ensure that the nation was not helpless when situations arise in some states in which normalcy ought to be restored even if it entails removing the governor.
Most of the members who spoke on the bill during its debate condemned the motives of the bill.
The House Leader, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila said that, the amendment being sought through the bill was defective, querying that there was no need to waste legislative time when the amendment would still need the support of states Houses of Assemblies.
In his own contribution, Hon. Ossai Ossai also said that there was no need to for the amendment saying that, he would adopt the position canvassed by the House Leader.
Hon. Ayo Omidiran in her own argument said that the bill should be rejected, saying, “This bill wants the National Assembly to be omnipotent.”
She pointed out that the constitution had already given the power to remove the President and the Vice President to the National Assembly if they were found wanting.
However Hon Jagaba Adams Jagaba said that the bill if passed would be sending wrong signals to the public and advised that the sponsor of the bill should withdraw it.
To this end, the sponsor of the bill offered to withdraw the bill based on the arguments against the bill by his colleagues
Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker, Honourable Lasun Yusuf on Wednesday told his colleagues that “time to bring amendment to the constitution is over”.
According to him, the Special Ad hoc committee on the constitution review, he chaired had concluded plans to round off work before the end of the third year of the present administration.
He said that, the committee’s position was to make sure that political meaning was not read to the committee’s work, saying that election year would be fast approaching after the third year.
Hon. Lasun who spoke at the plenary yesterday added that, by the time the House resumed from the Easter break, the committee would present the committee’s work to the House for further legislative action.
He also used the opportunity to inform his colleagues that the senate committee informed him that they have gone far with their work, while still waiting for the House.