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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

States’ legislature, judiciary get autonomy; VPs, deputy govs get only a term after completing President, Governor’s term

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President Muhammadu Buhari Friday assented to the Constitution Fourth Alteration Bill granting financial autonomy and independence to State Houses of Assembly and State Judiciary.
Also, a vice president or deputy governor who completes the term of a president or governor, will now be entitled to only a term of office, another amendment to the constitution stipulates.
With the presidents signature, funds due to the judiciary and legislature in States are now to be paid directly to them and not through the Executive arm, as has been the case in the last 19 years.
Presidential Adviser on National Assembly matters, Ita Enang, told journalists after the presidential assent to the new laws: “This grants full autonomy now to the Houses of Assembly and judiciary of states.
He said further: ““Another Act which has come into force today is Constitution Amendment 21 which relates to the determination of pre-elections matters. It has reduced the date and time of determining pre-election matters to ensure that the pre-election matters in court do not get into the time of the elections and do not linger thereafter.
“The relevant section of the Constitution has also been amended by this Act, therefore amending the constitution.
“The other one is Bill 16 which is now an Act. The intent of that Act is to ensure that where a Vice President succeeds the President and where a deputy governor succeeds a governor, he can no more contest for that office more than one more time.
“The effect is that having taken the oath of President once, he can only contest one more time and no more. That is the intent of this amendment.
“The other amendment is Bill 9 now an Act which gives the Independent National Electoral Commission sufficient time to conduct by-election. It has increased the time from seven to 21 days and generally widen the latitude of the INEC to handle election matters upon vacancy.
“These four bills, added to the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act, have now been assented to by the President and have now become laws.
“The Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended is hereby further amended by the assent of the President to these bills today.”

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