Senate orders Constitution versions’ withdrawal for harmonization

Disturbed over the proliferation of versions and copies of the 1999 Constitution as amended in the country, the Senate has called for the immediate withdrawal of the document in circulation, with a bid to harmonizing it into one constitution that would be a uniform one.

Against this backdrop the Senate Tuesday mandated the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to liaise with the National Judicial and the Attorney-General and other relevant agencies to withdraw the different versions of the Constitution in circulation, just as it urged the Committee to with all the other government agencies to authorize the printing and distribution of an authentic and consolidated version which should reflect the different alterations in the Constitution since 1999.

The Senate particularly called for “the printing and distribution of the authentic, consolidated Constitution of the Federation with the different alterations embedded where they belong to make the Constitution one whole document to guide the generality of the Nigerian populace and the international community”.

The resolution of the Senate was sequel to subsequent to motion by Senator Chukwuka Utazi, PDP, Enugu North and titled, “Harmonising the different versions and copies of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in circulation into one authentic whole.”

Presenting the motion, Senator Utazi stressed that the Constitution came into force on May 29, 1999 with eight chapters, 320 sections and seven schedules, adding that in some versions, Sections 84 ends with subsection (6) while in other versions, the same Section 84 ends with subsection 7.

Senator Utazi said, “The senate: Recognizes that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria came into force on May 29, 1999 with eight Chapters, Three Hundred and Twenty Sections and Seven Schedules.

In his remarks, Senate President Bukola Saraki then ruled and mandated the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to urgently liaise with relevant organs of the government in ensuring harmonization of the different versions and copies of the Constitution in circulation into one authentic whole.

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