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Constitution: NASS gazettes amendments, set to override GEJ

Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling last Thursday, for federal lawmakers to stay action on amendments to the country’s constitution, the National Assembly is bent on going ahead to veto President Goodluck Jonathan on the issue.

The move to override the veto commenced on Monday, with the gazetting of the bill in the House and the Senate, preparatory to a fresh passage by the two chambers.

The bill, Vanguard gathered, was listed as HB/781 in the House and as SB/548 in the Senate. Senate spokesman, Senator Enyinnanya Abaribe had last Sunday faulted the Supreme Court ruling, saying that it was inconceivable that one arm of government would stop the other arm from exercising its constitutional duties.

The Presidency had filed a suit to stop the legislature from further action on the alteration of the constitution.

It was learnt that the National Assembly members are furious that the President and his aides kept low while the process of altering the constitution was on without submitting their views on the issue. Many members especially of the PDP, who lost out in the recently concluded elections are also embittered and want to make a last dent on the image of the President by impugning his legislative record through the plan to override his veto.

If the planned override of the bill titled, “A Bill for an Act to further alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other matters,” is successful, it would be the second time the National Assembly would have successfully overridden a presidential veto.

The first and only time that a veto was overturned in the annals of the Fourth Republic was in 2000 when the Senator Chuba Okadigbo-led Senate and the Ghali Umar Na‘Abba-led House of Representatives overturned President Olusegun Obasanjo’s veto on the bill to establish the Niger Delta Development Commission.

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