The Senate: Constitution Amendment

October 22, 2014

The Senate was unable to immediately form a quorum a day after the House of Representatives voted for constitution amendment. This occured because the number of senators present were not up to the two-third requirement of members' attendance.

Consequently, the situation was remedied at the Senate proceedings on Tuesday (October 21, 2014). The senate formally consented to 23 of the 71 new amendments to the 1999 Constitution. On the contrary, a major amendment they rendered invalid is the removal of immunity for executive office holders.

However, support was given for autonomy of local governments, independent candidacy for future elections, exclusive jurisdiction on the Federal High Court for trial of election offences, as well as civil or criminal sanctions‎ for failure or neglect to obey summons issued to anyone by the National Assembly.

Furthermore, in order to ensure accountability and efficient service delivery, the amendment enables funding of the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, National Security Agencies, the Nigeria Police and the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission directly from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

The process leading to the amendment of the 1999 constitution continues. This new amendments are to be forwarded to state houses of assemblies, where each item would require the concurrence of two thirds of the 36 state assemblies.