IN LINE with the intervention of the Supreme
Court, President Goodluck Jonathan and the
National Assembly yesterday resolved their
dispute over the Constitution Amendment
process.
A seven-man panel of the apex court headed
by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud
Mohammed, had on Monday asked the two
parties’ lawyers to broker a truce between their
clients.
It then adjourned the matter till yesterday for
a feedback on the settlement deal.
At the session yesterday, counsel to the
courtAttorney-General of the Federation, Chief Bayo
Ojo, SAN, who instituted the suit on behalf of
the President and Chief Adegboyega Awomolo,
SAN, who represented the National Assembly,
told the apex court that their clients had agreed
to sheathe their swords.
Consequently, the apex court adjourned the
matter till 4pm yesterday to enable the plaintiff
file a notice of discontinuance of the suit.
The lawyers to the parties however declined
to give details of the concessions they reached
until the terms of settlement and notice of
discontinuance are filed.
President Jonathan had refused to assent to
the 4th Alteration Bill on the grounds of the
alleged failure of the National Assembly to fulfil
the mandatory requirement for the passage of
the bill.
The AGF on behalf of the President then filed
the suit to challenge the passage of the bill by
the National Assembly following a threat by the
legislators to override the President’s assent.
The plaintiff is opposed to, among other
provisions in the proposed amendment of the
constitution which conferred on the National
Assembly, the power to pass an amendment of
the constitution without the President’s consent.
The plaintiff, in his originating summons,
asked the court to nullify and set aside Sections
3, 4, 12, 14, 21, 23, 36, 39, 40, 43 and 44 of the
Fourth Alteration Act, 2015 purportedly passed
by the defendant.
The plaintiff also asked the court to determine
two questions, “Whether the proposed
amendment to the Constitution of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (hereinafter referred
to as the Constitution) by the Defendant
through sections 3, 4, 12, 14, 21, 23, 36, 39, 40,
43 and 44 of the Constitution of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria, ((Fourth Alteration) Act
2015 (hereinafter referred to as The Fourth
Alteration Act 2015) which purportedly altered
sections 8, 9, 34, 35, 39, 42, 45, 58, 84, 150, 174
and 211 of the Constitution without compliance
with the requirements of section 9(3) of the
Constitution is not unconstitutional, invalid,
illegal, null and void?
“Whether in the absence of compliance by
the Defendant with the mandatory requirement
of section 9(3) of the Constitution in the
passage of the Fourth Alteration Act, 2015, the
Defendant can competently exercise its powers
under section 58(5) of the Constitution to
enable the purported Act to become Law?”
The plaintiff further prayed the court to hold,
among others, that the proposed amendments
to the Constitution through sections 3, 4, 12,
14, 21, 23, 36, 39, 40, 43 and 44 of the Fourth
Alteration Act, 2015 which purportedly altered
sections 8, 9, 34, 35, 39, 42, 45, 58, 84, 150,
174 and 211 of the Constitution and passed
by the defendant without complying with the
mandatory requirement of section 9(3) and (4)
of the said Constitution stipulating passage by at
least four-fifths majority of all members of each
House specified in sections 48 and 49 of the
Constitution is unconstitutional, invalid, illegal,
null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”


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