The Senate and the House of Representatives are to vote on the final report on proposed amendments to the 1999 Constitution after the Eid-el Kabir celebrations.
The National Assembly proceeded on a combined two-week break for the country’s 54th independence anniversary and Eid-el Kabir on Tuesday.
The House of Representatives in particular, will reconvene on October 14.
The Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, who doubles as the Chairman, AdHoc Committee on Constitution Review, announced on Tuesday that the two chambers had harmonised their differences on the proposed amendments.
He said, “The harmonised conference report is ready and we shall begin voting after the Sallah break.
“We will take a date after resumption to vote to pass the report.
“Please, all members should be aware of this and come prepared for the voting when we resume.”
The House had earlier passed 77 new clauses to the constitution, while the Senate passed its own recommendations as well.
Among the highlights of the recommendations passed by the House were the removal of immunity (against criminal prosecution) for the President and Governors, the rejection of state police and the approval of independent candidature during elections.
It also approved to split the offices of the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation, while the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation was placed on First Line Charge of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.
However, the Senate and the House had disagreed on granting financial autonomy to local government councils.
While the House endorsed autonomy for the councils by scrapping the controversial local government/state joint account, the Senate rejected autonomy for the councils.
Under Section 9 of the constitution, two-thirds of all members of each arm of the National Assembly will madatorily vote to endorse a proposal before it can pass an amendment to the constitution.
This implies that 240 out of the 360 members of the House of Representatives must endorse every proposal before it can be included in the new constitution.
Similarly, 73 out of 109 senators must vote to endorse all new proposals to the constitution.
In addition, two-thirds (24) out of the 36 state Houses of Assembly must also approve the amendments passed by the National Assembly as the final phase of the amendment process.
Meanwhile, the House on Tuesday approved the power of the Independent National Electoral Commission to request security personnel, including the armed forces, for election purposes.
The proposal was contained in the fresh amendments to the Electoral Act, 2010.
Members began the consideration of the report a bill to amend the Act on Tuesday, passing the controversial power it conferred on INEC as the sole authority to request the deployment of security personnel whenever it deemed necessary.
The amendment passed after a heated argument between Peoples Democratic Party members and their All Progressives Congress colleagues.
The PDP members, led by the Deputy Majority Leader, Mr. Leo Ogor, made efforts to dilute the recommendation, but the opposition party members ensured that the recommendation stayed the way the Committee on Electoral Matters proposed it.
It turned out that there were more APC members in the chambers while Ihedioha presided over the report, giving the opposition party members the upper hand when voting took place.
However, further consideration of the report was later deferred to allow the Committee on Electoral Matters, which is chaired by Mr. Jerry Manwe, some time to clean up observable errors in the report.
The House later adjourned sitting till October 14.