Published On: Thu, Mar 12th, 2020

Senate Moves To Stop High Courts From Entertaining Pre-election Matters

(News Investigators) A bill seeking to amend the provisions of the 1999 Constitution to preclude the federal, state and FCT High Courts from entertaining pre-election disputes emanating from elective congresses of political parties scaled second reading on the floor of the Senate yesterday. The bill, sponsored by Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege (APC, Delta Central), seeks to alter Section 272 of the Principal Act by inserting, after subsection (3), a new subsection (4). 

The proposed subsection reads, “Nothing in this section shall empower the High Court of a State to entertain a dispute from a member of a political party challenging the actions or decisions of a political party in respect of the election of a principal officer or member of its executive committee or other governing body following from a congress, conference, convention or other meeting convened by that political party for the purpose of electing such principal officers or members. “This Act may be cited as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fifth Alteration, No. 29) Act, 2020,” it added. 

Also scaling second reading is a bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, to provide immunity for members of the legislature in respect of words spoke or written at plenary sessions or committee proceedings and institutionalise legislative bureaucracy in the constitution, sponsored by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC – Ekiti Central). Other bills that scaled second reading during plenary on Wednesday are: A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to make provision for the Financial Autonomy of Local Government Councils, sponsored by Senator Ahmad Babba Kaita (APC – Katsina North); A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution to provide for the amendment of Section 54(1) and Section 96(1), sponsored by Senator Istifanus Gyang (PDP – Plateau North); and a bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution to give Local Government Councils direct control of their finances, by Senator Uche Ekwunife (PDP – Anambra Central). 

Others are: A bill for an Act to alter the Constitution to provide for an upward review of the Derivation Formula for the inclusion of Solid Minerals and Hydro Power in the Derivation principle, by Senator Olubunmi Adetumbi (APC – Ekiti North); A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution to make Right to Food and Food Security in Nigeria, by Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC – Nasarawa West); A bill for an Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution 1999, to provide for the regulation of the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, by Senator Surajudeen Akinola Basira (APC – Osun Central). The bills to alter the provisions of the constitution were referred by President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, to the Committee on Constitution Review, chaired by the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.

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