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Experts highlight areas of urgent attention in constitutional review

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It’s to divert attention from APC’s waning popularity, says Junaid Muhammed

Constitutional lawyers have urged the Senate Committee on Constitution Review to focus on critical areas of priority and ensure that any evaluation did not end up in futility like previous exercises.

Insisting that the National Assembly has the legal right to review or amend the constitution, they, however, urged the 56-member committee to consider urgent review of the federal structure, state policing, electoral laws, security and economy in their national assignment.

Speaking in an interview with The Guardian in Kano, Mamman Lawan Yusufari (SAN), who argued that the timing of the review was quite germane, expressed hope that the new undertaking by the lawmakers would not end up in futility. Yusufari, who is a professor of law at Bayero University, Kano (BUK) advocated amendment of Federal structure, especially in power and resources control that would fashion out healthier growth and relationship between the centre and states.

A former Vice President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ibrahim Aliyu Nassarawa, canvassed the need for creation of states and local councils to decongest some states of the country.

Nassarawa also argued for restructuring of security to pave way for state policing, just as he decried the arrangement where governors, as chief security officers of their states, could not give instructions to commissioners of police. Yusufari further argued that Nigerians have the right to raise fears on ventures that involve huge public funding, insisting that the present Senate has so far demonstrated significant confidence and seriousness in handling national issues contrary to preceding leadership of the upper legislative chamber.

“We hope the new assignment will be different from previous ones. For instance, it took the previous assembly about six months to pass the budget, but this present assembly passed the 2020 budget before the end of 2019, so there are all indications that things will get better,” he noted.

Meanwhile, second republic lawmaker and elder statesman, Junaid Muhammed, has said the composition of the 56-member committee by Senate President Ahmad Lawan, was aimed at diverting attention from All Progressives Congress (APC’s) waning popularity.

Junaid, who spoke to The Guardian on telephone said he did not believe in the committee as constituted by Lawan, pointing out that there was something sinister in it for which they should not be allowed to take Nigerians for a ride.

“As far as I am concerned, there is something sinisterly shameless in the latest attempt by the Senate President to put together the panel. “I think it is diversionary tactics to take the sense of unpopularity of the ruling party away from public consciousness into something else. As far as I am concerned, it is a waste of time,” he stressed.


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