US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House in Lagos January 25, 2015. US Secretary of State John Kerry said today that peaceful and timely elections were vital in Nigeria, where the country i ~ AKINTUNDE AKINLEYE
Lagos - President Goodluck Jonathan has defended his decision to reject amendments to the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly.
In a correspondence from the President read on Monday at plenary by the Senate President, David Mark, Jonathan said he would not assent to the amendments because they do not satisfy the strict requirements of section 9(3) of the 1999 Constitution.
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Charles Akpan, Assistant Director in the Presidency, said the President in his correspondence faulted some errors in the amendment.
These include the non compliance with the threshold specified in sectionn9(3) of the Constitution, alteration cannot be valid with mere voice vote unless supported by the votes of less than four fifths majority of members of the National Assembly and two thirds of all the thirty six House of Assembly, right to free basic education and primary maternal care services imposed on private institutions and 30 days allowed for assent of the President.
Other objections by the President includes limiting expenditure in default of appropriation from six months to three months, creation of the Office of Accountant General of the Federation distinct from the Accountant General of the Federal Government, allowing National Judicial Commission to now appoint the Attorney General of the Federation rather than the President.
He accused the National Assembly of unjustified whittling down of the Executive powers of the Federation vested in the President by virtue of section 1(5) of the 1999 Constitution, said Akpan.