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End time? Same sex marriage, local government creations to dominate 2017 constitutional amendment



The National Assembly has said that the issue of same sex marriage and the economy will be considered in the constitution to be presented in 2017.

Vanguard reports that Yussuf Lasun who is the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives and chairman of the House Ad-Hoc committee on constitution amendment said the new process will be flexible so that President Muhammadu Buhari will have time to review it.

Lassun spoke at the opening ceremony of a working session/retreat of the House Committee on Constitution review in Abeokuta where he emphasized that the issue of same sex marriage and creation of more local governments will be feature well.

He said: “It pleases me to inform you that the Committee has been working tirelessly to ensure that the Fourth Alteration Bill is given speedy passage and subsequent assent by the President.”

“We will round off our work between February and March (next year) to give the President ample time to go through the amendment for his assent.

“In order to make the amendment process more flexible and practicable, the 4th Alteration Bill has been segmented into 14 Bills and we are presently considering over thirty (30) Bills referred to the Committee by the 8th Assembly.

“Having considered the reasons why the Alteration Bill in the 7th Assembly was declined by the President, we have decided that the process should commence de-novo and fast-tracked to ensure a timeous passage of the Bills.

“Some contemporary issues for constitutional review are the issues of legalising same sex marriage which has been the subject of debates in several jurisdictions of the world.

“The demand for more in the scheme of things and access to control of resources has led to increased violence, hostage taking and disruption of the activities of the oil industry- the mainstay of the country’s economy.

“These conflicts are traceable in many respect to dissatisfaction by different groups within the geopolitical configuration with the distribution of power particularly, control over natural and fiscal resources within the federal structure. The balance of power is said to be too heavily tilted in favour of the central government.

“The issue of local government creation and the constitutional conflict it has generated in the operations of the 1999 constitution have shown that whereas the constitution provides for creation of new local governments and provides a precede re by which the states can undertake same, the fact that no state has been able to complete the process under the constitution is a sign of failure or undue rigidity, perhaps or indeed, both.

“Some of the scandals associated with some individual judges, their judgments and what may be termed questionable motives, have raised questions about the underlying policy considerations that come to play in the appointment of judges.

“A lot of issues have arisen in relation to the electoral process. The need to establish a credible time limit for the conclusion of election petitions. What are the constitutional implications of the executive team ticket? At what point does it actually begin in the light of the conflict in Kogi?”

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