Saraki says Constitution amendment ready Jan. 2017



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*NBA wants Electoral Act amended regarding postponement of elections on basis of security, others

Senate President Bukola Saraki Thursday said the ongoing process to amend the 1999 Constitution would be completed by January 2017.

The former Kwara State governor will have achieved a major breakthrough as one of Nigeria’s most important leaders, if this scales through as promised, some Nigerians have reacted.

Saraki disclosed this while paying receiving the national executive of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), led by its President, Mallam Abubakar Balarabe Mahmud (SAN),

He said the National Assembly wanted the Constitution to be amended before the election year.

His words: “On the issue of Constitution Amendment, we started very early on this because we know it can be a problem if it comes close to election year. Our view is that we have simplified the process. We are working on the earlier document which was completed in the last Assembly but was not signed into law.  We try to take important issues first and the members of the committee are working tirelessly on this.  By the time it will be ready, we will send it to the Speakers of States Assembly,” said the Senate President, Saraki.

Speaking on the issue of Electoral Act, Saraki hinted his guests that, “We started this process very early and it has gone through second reading, gone through public hearing. Stakeholders have contributed. Some of the issues like postponement of elections, electoral voting, some of the un-envisaged cases like the case in Kogi State have been taken into consideration and I believe the sooner we can pass the amendments, the better it is in the interest of Nigerians.”

Earlier in his speech, the NBA president said the Bar was interested in the amendment of the Electoral Act, especially as regards the postponement of elections on the basis of security related issues, Constitutional amendments, Justice Sector Reforms particularly the ICPC, EFCC, Prisons Reforms and the Legal Aid Council. He specifically said that the Legal Aid Council was in dire need of funds to carry out its duties.

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