The zonal hearings on the review of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, will begin Wednesday across the six geo-political regions.
Noting that the review is in line with the legislative agenda of the 9th National Assembly, Chairman of the National Assembly Committee on Constitution Amendment, Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege, acknowledged that no other constitution has been more critiqued than the current one.
The hearing will take place in two centres in each of the six geo-political zones as follows:
- North Central: Jos centre is chaired by Senator Abdullahi Adamu and comprised of Plateau, Benue and Nasarawa while, Minna centre is chaired by Senator Abdullahi Sabi Aliyu and comprised of Kogi, Kwara, Niger state and FCT
- North East: Gombe centre is chaired by Senator Mohammed Danjuma Goje and comprised of Gombe, Taraba and Adamawa, while Bauchi centre is chaired by Senator Abubakar Kyari and comprised of Bauchi, Borno and Yobe state
- North West: Kaduna Centre is chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya and comprised of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Jigawa state while, Sokoto centre is chaired by Senator Muhammed Aliero and comprised of Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara state
- South East: Enugu Centre is chaired by Senator Ike Ekweremadu and comprised of Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu state while, Owerri centre is chaired by Senator Orji Uzor Kalu and comprised of Abia and Imo state
- South South: Asaba centre is chaired by Senator James Manager and comprised of Bayelsa, Delta and Edo state while, Port-Harcourt centre is chaired by Senator Betty Apiafi and comprised of Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Rivers state.
- South West: Akure centre is chaired by Senator Ajayi Boroffice and comprised of Ekiti, Ondo and Osun state while, Lagos centre is chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubu and comprised of Lagos, Ogun and Oyo state
The zonal hearings are expected to hold simultaneously in all the centres on Wednesday 26th and Thursday 27th May 2021. The 2 days is to give Nigerians ample opportunity to make their presentations.
Mr. Omo-Agege said:” After the zonal hearings, there will also be a National Public hearing in Abuja on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th of June 2021 to give opportunity to those especially, government agencies and other stakeholders who could not attend the zonal hearings.”
Omo-Agege disclosed that there were about 32-header 1999 Constitutional Alteration Bills, which were streamlined to a 13-point frame of reference.
It was earlier announced that the committee had received over 250 memoranda, which have been reduced to 26 on issues as follows:
- Gender Equity/Increased participation of Women and Vulnerable groups in governance
- The Federal Structure in governance and Power Devolution
- Local Government Administration/Local Government autonomy
- Public Revenue, Fiscal Federalism and Revenue Allocation
- Constitutional Provision for the Establishment of State Police
- Judicial Reform – Adjudication of election and pre-election matters and other justice delivery concerns.
- Electoral Reforms that will make INEC deliver transparent, credible, free and fair elections, Political parties, Independent candidature and election management
- Socio-economic rights as contained in Chapter II of the Constitution.
- Residency and indigeneship
- Immunity – Removal of immunity in prima facie criminal cases
- Time-line for Assent of Bills and Passage of Appropriation Bill
- States and local government creation
- Strengthening the independence of institutions like the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Auditor General of the Federation and Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
- F.C.T. Administration
- The Legislature and Legislative Bureaucracy
- Constitutional Role for Traditional Rulers
ZONAL PUBLIC HEARING CENTRES/VENUES
1. Asaba Centre: Grand Hotel, Nnehishi Road, Asaba. Delta State
2.Enugu Centre: Amadea Event Centre, Beside Oakland Hotel by Tunnel, old Artisan, off Ogui Road, Enugu
3. Kaduna Centre: Banquet Hall, Gen. Hassan Usman Katsina House (State House) Kawo Kaduna.
4 Bauchi Centre: Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai conference center, command guest house, Airport road, Bauchi. Bauchi venue
5. Gombe Centre: Gombe International Hotel
6. Akure Centre: International Culture and Event Centre (THE DOME). Directly Opposite Ondo State Revenue House, Igbatore Road, Akure, Ondo State.
7. Jos Centre: Crispan Hotel, Plot 9259, opposite Airforce Base off Jonah David Jang Expressway, Rayfield, Jos.
8. Lagos Centre: Lagos Marriott Hotel, Ikeja 122, Joel Ogunnaike Street, Ikeja GRA, Lagos
9. Owerri Centre: Protea Hotel Owerri
10. Minna Centre: Hon. Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre Minna Niger State
11. Sokoto Centre: Main Auditorium. Sultan Maccido Institute, Sokoto
12. Port-Harcourt Centre: yet to be determined