Not-too-young-to-run bill, 11 others transmitted to Buhari for assent

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The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday resolved to transmit the “Not-too-young-to-run” bill and 11 others to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.

The decision was taken after the upper legislative chamber considered a motion titled, “Passage of Constitution (fourth) alteration bills, 2018”, sponsored by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and 49 other senators.

The bills to be transmitted by the Senate include: Authorisation of Expenditure in absence of Appropriation Bill, Financial Autonomy of State Legislatures Bill, the Legislature Bill, Political Parties and Electoral Matters Bill, the Nigeria Police Force Bill and Restriction of Tenure of President and Governor Bill.

Others are: Submission from the Judiciary Bill, Determination of Pre-Election Matters Bill, Consequential Amendment on Civil Defence Bill, Procedure for Overriding Presidential Veto in Constitutional Alteration, and Timeline for the Presentation of Appropriation Bill.

Other bills are financial autonomy of state legislature, restriction of tenure of president and governors, timeline for the presentation of presentation of appropriation bill, determination of pre-election matters, submission from the judiciary, the Nigeria police force, political parties and electoral matters, authorisation of expenditure in absence of appropriation; the legislature, political parties and electoral matters.

Moving a motion on the conference committee reports on the bills during the day’s plenary, the Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan recalled that while the Senate approved 29 of the bills with the required two-third majority of members, the House of Representatives approved 21 of the bills with not less that two-third majority.

He disclosed that 35 state houses of assembly have forwarded their resolution on most of the bills. The states include: Abia, Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano and Katsina States.

Others are: Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara States.

The Senate then resolved that while awaiting the resolution of some of other state houses of Assembly on some of the Bills, those that have met the requirements of the provisions of Section 9 of the Constitution be passed, processed in line with the Acts Authentication Act and transmitted to Buhari for presidential assent, ”to enable institutions of government prepare for immediate implementation of policies and programmes pursuant to the provisions”.

The Senate consequently passed 12 of the 33 bills seeking to alter various provisions of the Constitution. One of the prominent bills, the ‘Not too young to run’ seeks to reduce the minimum age requirement for elective positions in the country. It was first passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives in July 2017.

The bill seeks to reduce the age qualification for the office of the president from 40 years to 30 years; age for the office of a state governor from 35 to 30; senate from 35 to 30; house of representatives, from 30 to 25; and state house of assembly, from 30 to 25.

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