Senate rules out requests for new Nigeria constitution

Floor of the senate scaled Senate rules out requests for new Nigeria constitution

Amidst requests for new Constitution, Senate on Thursday ruled out possibility of writing a new Constitution for the country.

Senior lawyers like Aare Afe Babalola (SAN) had sought a totally new constitution for Nigeria.

The founder of Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti, Babalola, said the current 1999 constitution can not sufficiently address the socio-economic challenges currently pummeling the nation.

But at the public hearing on the review of the constitution in Abuja, Senate said the extant law does not support creation of new Constitution.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Constitution review, and Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, who made this known, noted that section nine of the constitution had already foreclosed a new constitution.

He said, “Now, some of our compatriots have urged that rather than amending the Constitution, we should make a new Constitution all together. We respect this opinion, and we believe it is a most desirable proposition.

“However, we are conducting this exercise in accordance with the extant legal order, which is the 1999 Constitution.

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“Specifically, Section 9 of the Constitution empowers the National Assembly to alter the provisions of the Constitution and prescribes the manner in which it is to be done. Unfortunately, it does not make similar provision or provide mechanism for replacing or re-writing an entirely new Constitution.

He added,“To embark on any process without prior alteration of Section 9 of the Constitution to provide the mode through which an entirely new Constitution could be made, would amount to gross violation of our oath of allegiance to the Constitution.

“In other words, it will take a new Constitutional amendment to be able to give Nigerians a most desired new Constitution. It would be unconstitutional to do otherwise.”

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