Constitution amendment: Supreme Court ‘ll determine presidential assent— Ekweremadu

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From ELEKWACHI CHINEDUM, Abuja
The Deputy President of the Senate and Chairman, Senate Committee on Constitution Review, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has said t the issue of presidential assent to amendments to the 1999 constitution was yet to be finally resolved.
Ekweremadu made this known when he received in audience the leadership of the Parliamentary Centre, Canada and the Canada High Commission in Nigeria which paid a courtesy to him in Abuja.
He noted that contrary to popular assumption, the National Assembly had deliberately resolved not to challenge the court ruling on the matter to allow the country benefit from the far-reaching electoral reforms and other amendments achieved in the sixth National Assembly.
“However, the matter is now before the Supreme Court of Nigeria for interpretation of the relevant sections of the constitution”, he reiterated.
Ekweremadu who is also the Chairman of the Governing Council of the National Institute for Legislative Studies, (NILS), also called on the Parliamentary Centre of Canada to assist the National Assembly in the areas of constitution review and capacity building.
He said that as a multicultural society with a very stable democracy, Canada remained a federal state per excellence whose experience should help Nigeria to navigate some challenges in the practice of federalism.
The Deputy President of the Senate noted that while the current structure of Nigeria’s federalism with concentration of powers at the might have been informed by the desire to protect the unity of the country under the military, the return to democracy had ushered in the need to realign the country in a way that makes it compliant with the ideals of true federalism.
Senator Ekweremadu also requested the Parliamentary Centre to set up a functional office in Nigeria since the country carries out the greatest parliamentary activity in Africa.
“It is desirous and logical for the Centre to have a functional office in Nigeria because basically, Nigeria has the greatest parliamentary activity in Africa and for the Centre to achieve its mandate of supporting parliamentary activities, this is the place to be,” he emphasized.
Earlier in his remarks, the High Commissioner of Canada to Nigeria, Mr. Chris Cooter described federalism as a process that never ends. He pledged is country’s readiness to do more for Nigeria, noting that Nigeria stood to gain immensely from Canada’s experience with federalism which had spanned over 150 years.
Also speaking, the President of the Parliamentary Centre, Canada, Mr. Jean-Paul Ruszkowski said the purpose of the visit was to explore the possibilities of achieving stronger Canadian and Nigerian parliamentary cooperation and exchange with particular emphasis on building the capacity of Nigerian legislators.From ELEKWACHI CHINEDUM, Abuja
The Deputy President of the Senate and Chairman, Senate Committee on Constitution Review, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has said t the issue of presidential assent to amendments to the 1999 constitution was yet to be finally resolved.
Ekweremadu made this known when he received in audience the leadership of the Parliamentary Centre, Canada and the Canada High Commission in Nigeria which paid a courtesy to him in Abuja.
He noted that contrary to popular assumption, the National Assembly had deliberately resolved not to challenge the court ruling on the matter to allow the country benefit from the far-reaching electoral reforms and other amendments achieved in the sixth National Assembly.
“However, the matter is now before the Supreme Court of Nigeria for interpretation of the relevant sections of the constitution”, he reiterated.
Ekweremadu who is also the Chairman of the Governing Council of the National Institute for Legislative Studies, (NILS), also called on the Parliamentary Centre of Canada to assist the National Assembly in the areas of constitution review and capacity building.
He said that as a multicultural society with a very stable democracy, Canada remained a federal state per excellence whose experience should help Nigeria to navigate some challenges in the practice of federalism.
The Deputy President of the Senate noted that while the current structure of Nigeria’s federalism with concentration of powers at the might have been informed by the desire to protect the unity of the country under the military, the return to democracy had ushered in the need to realign the country in a way that makes it compliant with the ideals of true federalism.
Senator Ekweremadu also requested the Parliamentary Centre to set up a functional office in Nigeria since the country carries out the greatest parliamentary activity in Africa.
“It is desirous and logical for the Centre to have a functional office in Nigeria because basically, Nigeria has the greatest parliamentary activity in Africa and for the Centre to achieve its mandate of supporting parliamentary activities, this is the place to be,” he emphasized.
Earlier in his remarks, the High Commissioner of Canada to Nigeria, Mr. Chris Cooter described federalism as a process that never ends. He pledged is country’s readiness to do more for Nigeria, noting that Nigeria stood to gain immensely from Canada’s experience with federalism which had spanned over 150 years.
Also speaking, the President of the Parliamentary Centre, Canada, Mr. Jean-Paul Ruszkowski said the purpose of the visit was to explore the possibilities of achieving stronger Canadian and Nigerian parliamentary cooperation and exchange with particular emphasis on building the capacity of Nigerian legislators.

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