JUST IN: Major Victory For Ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo, As Senate Makes Major Move, Disgraces Ibrahim Babangida
It was a technical knock out for former Military Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida, as the agitation for the restructuring of the country, suffered a major setback.
This came as the Senate, on Wednesday, supported former Military Head of State, Olusegun Obasanjo, by voting and rejecting a proposal to amend the 1999 Constitution, to devolve more powers to the States.
Recall, Babangida had thrown his weight behind restructuring, contrary to Obasanjo’s stance that restructuring of the country should be jettisoned.
The passage would have laid a foundation for more far-reaching and wholesale restructuring amendments, subsequently.
To this end, the Upper Chamber dumped the Devolution of Powers Amendment Bill. The bill had sought to alter the Second Schedule, Parts I & II, to move certain items to the Concurrent Legislative List, to give more Legislative powers to States.
It had also intended to delineate the extent to which the Federal Legislature and State Assemblies, can legislate on the items that have been moved to the Concurrent Legislative List.
Three other bills were rejected by the Senate, while twenty nine were passed.
The bills rejected are: State Creation and Boundary Adjustment Bill, Citizenship and Indigenous Bill, and Deletion of the Land Use Act Bill.
Under item 11 of the Amendment Bills, which provides for a time frame for submitting the Names of Ministerial or Commissioner-Nominees, the Senate rejected a clause which had provided a 35 percent affirmative action for women, at the Federal level, and 20 percent at the State level.
Amendments passed include: Composition of Members of the Council of State. This Bill seeks to amend the Third Schedule, to include former Presidents of the Senate, and Speakers of the House of Representatives, in the composition of the Council of State.
Authorisation of Expenditure Bill was passed. This Bill seeks to alter sections 82 and 122 of the Constitution, to reduce the period within which the President or Governor of a State, may authorise the withdrawal of monies from the consolidated revenue fund, in the absence of an Appropriation Act, from 6 months to 3 months.
Others bills passed are: Financial Autonomy of State Legislatures, Distributable Pool Account, Local Government, The Legislature and Political Parties and Electoral Matters.