The House of Representatives will on Thursday decide on the process of impeaching a sitting President and his deputy from office by removing the ambiguities that make such process difficult to attain.
This follows the submission of the proposed amendments on Tuesday of the outstanding ‘Report of the House ad hoc committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution’, which voting system would be done through the electronic voting pattern.
While laying the report, which, however, was not considered on the floor of the House, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, deputy speaker/chairman of the ad hoc committee on the review of the constitution, recalled that the House had referred a number of bills to the committee for further legislative input.
“The committee treated most of them, which formed part of the report that was submitted to the House in July from which the House conducted the votes on amendment of the constitution on July 25, 2013.
“A few of the bills were omitted during that exercise. Some were stood down as they did not undergo public hearing, while a few others were referred to the committee, after the voting had taken place.
“As a result, the leadership of the House and the committee thought it wise to conclude work on those bills before setting up a conference committee to liaise with the Senate for harmonisation purposes,” Ihedioha said while laying the report.
The lawmakers had, instead, gone ahead to do a mock trial of the electronic voting on the 17 outstanding bills, which was successful.
Top on the report is a bill, which seeks to alter of Section 143 of the constitution to remove ambiguities in the process of impeachment and removal of a President and Vice President from office on allegations of gross misconduct and to provide for a more transparent and democratic procedure for impeachment and removal of the holder of the offices.
Sponsored by Hon. Yakubu Dogara and three others, the bill, which was taken at the public hearing held on Wednesday, December 4, 2013, received endorsement, and has been incorporated into the bill that was presented to the House.
Also in the report is the Hon. Ralph Nnanna Igbokwe-sponsored bill, which seeks to alter Section 56 of the constitution to guarantee freedom of speech and legislative actions of members of the National Assembly.
Teddy Oscar, Abuja