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Constitution Amendment: National Assembly removes offensive clauses.

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Constitution Amendment: National Assembly removes offensive clauses.

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As part of a brokered settlement ordered by the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the National Assembly has agreed to remove the controversial clauses included in the amendments to the constitution under the Fourth Alteration Act, 2015, which it passed this year but rejected by President Jonathan who withheld his assent.

It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan refused to sign the bill when presented to him for his assent, but instead returned it to NASS, complaining about inclusion of some offensive clauses in the amendment.

The lawmakers agreed to make amends to the Act in an out of court settlement between the representatives of the executive and legislative arms of government in Abuja on May 26.According to reports, they have agreed that the views of the president be considered and effected by deleting some alterations in the Alteration Act, 2015, for which the president had withheld his assent.

The terms of settlement have it that , NASS agreed to delete alterations made to Section 8 of the Principal Act on referendum in respect of state creation, agreed to delete alterations made to Section 9 of the Principal Act dispensing with the assent of the president in the process of constitution amendment.

The lawmakers also agreed to delete alterations made in Sections 45a-45b of the Act relating to Free Basic Education and Maternal Healthcare Services.

They are also expected to delete alterations made to Sections 150, 174, 195 and 211 of the Principal Act relating to the separation of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. It also applies to State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.With the agreed terms tendered before Supreme Court, the suit filed by the Attorney-General in Suit No: SC/214/ 2015 before the court was withdrawn following a motion for discontinuance. The court accordingly struck out the case.

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