How to le­galise con­fab re­port, by Nwabueze

Daily Trust - - NEWS -

Em­i­nent con­sti­tu­tional lawyer, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, has called for the re­peal of De­cree 24 of 1999 to give le­gal teeth to the res­o­lu­tions of the Na­tional Con­fer­ence.

Nwabueze made the call in Umuahia yes­ter­day in an in­ter­view with news­men af­ter he and some lead­ers of thought vis­ited Gover­nor Theodore Orji of Abia.

He ex­plained that Sec­tion 9 of the con­sti­tu­tion pre­scribed the pro­ce­dure for its al­ter­ation with­out go­ing through the na­tional and state as­sem­blies.

He de­scribed the 1999 Con­sti­tu­tion as “a sched­ule to De­cree 24 of 1999,’’ say­ing: “all you have to do is to re­peal that de­cree and the sched­ule con­tain­ing the con­sti­tu­tion will dis­ap­pear.”

He said that Sec­tion 4 con­ferred on the Na­tional As­sem­bly the pow­ers to re­peal the de­cree and sub­se­quently set the 1999 con­sti­tu­tion aside.

Ac­cord­ing to Nwabueze, the pro­ce­dure was adopted in 1963 to re­peal the Or­der-in-Coun­cil.

“We re­pealed the Or­der-in-Coun­cil in 1963 and the sched­ule that con­tained the In­de­pen­dent Con­sti­tu­tion dis­ap­peared,’’ he said.

He, how­ever, warned that the pro­ce­dure “should be done in se­quence, si­mul­ta­ne­ously, so that the Na­tional As­sem­bly does not dis­ap­pear.”

Nwabueze noted that for the con­fer­ence to achieve the ob­jec­tive, “it must have the com­pe­tence to adopt the con­sti­tu­tion that would be bind­ing on all Nige­ri­ans.”

“That is the kind of con­fer­ence that we had en­vis­aged,” he said, but re­gret­ted that “it is not the kind of con­fer­ence that is go­ing on now.”

Nwabueze, how­ever, ex­pressed op­ti­mism that all is not lost, adding that he was work­ing on mea­sures that would sal­vage the con­fer­ence to meet the ex­pec­ta­tions of many Nige­ri­ans. (NAN)

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