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News - North Central - FCT Updated: April 20, 2024

Senior advocate calls for new Nigerian constitution

By Hadiza Musa Yusuf
April 20, 2024
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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mohammed Ndarani has urged the National Assembly to draft a new constitution instead of trying to amend the existing 1999 constitution, which was created under military rule.

Ndarani said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while referring to his memorandum on the review of the 1999 Constitution which he submitted to the House of Representatives on Saturday in Abuja.

According to him, the National Assembly has the power to draft an entirely new constitution, urging it to invoke its power to make a people’s constitution for Nigeria.

He said, “Developments in this country today justify the complete overhaul and comprehensive amendment to our 1999 constitution, which was only made as an annexure to a Military Decree.

“We have attempted to beat it into shape and modify it through a myriad of amendments, but these efforts have still left much to be desired as they have not yielded the desired dividends.”

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The SAN expressed unwavering faith and confidence in the National Assembly, stating that the memorandum served as a testament to this belief.

“We believe that they will, without bias, collate and harmonize our views and other public views in this regard to produce a formidable document that will effectively, and truly reflect the historical, cultural, and traditional values of all Nigerians.”

He said that in their submission, they proposed a constitutional amendment that would reintroduce the Parliamentary form of government.

“We contend that the present Presidential form of government has outlived its usefulness."

He said that Western liberal democracy has not proven effective for Africa, and Nigeria's historical and traditional background leans towards parliamentary governance.

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He disclosed that they also proposed the adoption of the six geopolitical zones to act in the capacity of regional governments.

“We recommended a comprehensive and all-embracing reform of the judiciary to make it capable of standing, performing optimally under the Parliamentary system of governance.

“We have submitted our own recommendations hoping that the new constitution, or such amendments, would make provision for a referendum as a condition for the passage of any law or amendments being anticipated thenceforth.

“This, in our opinion, is what will give the said constitution or act the touch of the people and imbue it with the much-needed legitimacy and bring the laws closer to the people and the people closer to the law and the lawmakers,’’ he said.

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