How to legalise confab report, by Nwabueze
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“We repealed the Order-in-Council in 1963 and the schedule that contained the Independent Constitution disappeared,’’ he said.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)