Constitution Review : Joint Committees Reject Life Pension Presiding Officers of National Assembly, State Assemblies


ADEBIYI ADEDAPO,

The joint committee of the National Assembly on the review of the 1999 constitution yesterday rejected a proposed amendment seeking to guarantee life pension for presiding officers of National Assembly and state houses of assembly.

‎Participants at the ongoing joint working retreat of the committee in Lagos while deliberating on the controversial Bill noted that some of the presiding officers ended up ad state governors and as such may enjoy double pension.

This rejected alteration sought to guarantee that the President of the Senate, Deputy President of the Senate, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives to life pension benefits as is the case with other arms of government if not impeached.

However, majority of the participants, which include speakers of state houses of assembly and selected lawmakers from the states argued that the Bill is self serving and should not be allowed.

Chairman of retreat and deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerenmadu eventually put the debate into a vote and disclosed that 30 participants voted in support, while 45 participants voted against.

“This is the beauty of democracy, 30 people voted in support while 45 voted against, the Bill stands rejected.

The Bill which sought to alter section 84 of the Constitution  will guarantee life pension for presiding officers of the National Assembly who were not impeached.

Meanwhile, the joint committees has approved a Bill for an Act seeking to guarantee autonomy for state houses of assembly in the ongoing amendments to the 1999 constitution.

Although former Akwa-Ibom state Governor, and Senate  Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio yesterday kicked against the proposed law, majority of the participants overrode his position as they voted in support of the Bill.

Akpabio noted that the financial system of State government varies from states to states, and as such, the current system  should altered.

“Since you don’t want to hear the truth, go ahead and do whatever you want. But remember some of you will become governors and some so you will come to the National Assembly,” he said.



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