Just a few days after the release of the report on the review of the Nigerian Constitution, by the Justice Alfa Belgore-led Presidential Committee, President Goodluck Jonathan has set up a committee to study the report. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim, in a statement said that the new committee has three weeks to submit its report on the report and is to be headed by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Bello Adoke (SAN).
The Justice Alfa Belgore-led Presidential Committee submitted its report on July 10 and some of its recommendations include:
- Reduction of powers at the centre and devolution of same to the states federating units;
- Allowing the centre to retain necessary powers to enable it exercise its sovereignty
- Enabling the centre to act for the federating units in areas of common and mutually beneficial interest and services
The Justice Alfa Belgore's committee also recommended the removal of the Code of Conduct from the 1999 Constitution, the the abolition of use of sirens by Political Officer Holders, and the scrapping of the office of the First Lady. Regarding the office of the First lady, Justice Alfa Belgore's committee report stated, â€śThe Committee noted, the response from the State House on the Office of the First Lady and recommends that since the office does not operate under any legal framework, that the operation and funding (both in kind and cash) of such offices at all levels of government should be discouraged and abolished forthwith."
The statement from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation said that the newly constituted committee will be responsible for "identifying the areas/issues on which the review committee affirmed consensus earlier reached in previous conferences and for which the review committee prepared draft bills for consideration and legislation, identify the areas/issues on which past constitutional conferences had arrived at a consensus but which the review committee felt the consensus was no longer current or relevant and therefore did not prepare any draft bills.â€ť
The committee is also to â€śidentify areas/issues on which the previous conferences and the review committee did not reach a consensus; study each of the draft bills submitted by the review committee and make recommendations for the government to either accept, modify or reject them in part or whole as the case may be.â€ť