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2011elections may hold by Jan... As N/Assembly approves constitution changes

Started by bamalli, June 02, 2010, 11:40:42 AM

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The next general elections are likely to hold in January 2011 or December 2010 if the recommendation of the Joint Harmonisation Committee of the Senate and the House of Representatives on the review of the 1999 constitution is adopted by the state assemblies.
The joint committee, Daily Trust learnt, recommended that elections shall be conducted in not more than 150 days and not later than 120 days before the expiration of tenure of the present political office holders.

The amendment reads, "Elections to each House of the National Assembly shall be held on a date to be appointed by the Independent National Electoral Commission, the date mentioned in subsection (I) of this section shall not be earlier than one hundred and fifty days and not later than none hundred and twenty days on which the House stands dissolved, or where the election is to fill a vacancy occurring more than ninety days before such date, not later than thirty days after the vacancy occurred." Minority Leader of the House of Representatives Rep. Mohammed Ali Ndume (ANPP, Borno) told Daily Trust yesterday that the leadership of the National Assembly will meet with the constitution review committee of the Governors Forum, which is chaired by Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, to ensure that the state Houses of Assembly endorse the amendments as soon as they received it.

Deputy Senate Majority Leader Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (PDP, Cross River Central) said the harmonization committee had finished its work and the report will be presented to the two chambers on Wednesday for final approval and onward transmission to the 36 state Houses of Assembly for endorsement.

According to section 9 of the 1999 constitution any alteration of the constitution can only be effected when it is endorsed by 2/3 majority of the 26 state Houses of Assembly. Based on the amendments, all cases arising from election are to be dispensed within six months but contrary to the recommendation of the Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais panel that all election cases should be concluded before swearing in of political office holders.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu had defended the position of the National Assembly saying a vacuum will be created in governance if those declared winners are not sworn-in but said all election petitions will now be dispensed not later than two months from the swearing in of elected persons. Other relevant alteration to the constitution includes the rising of the educational requirements for elective positions as only those who holds a minimum of National Diploma or its equivalent will be eligible to contest.