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The members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives yesterday united to frustrate to frustrate the constitution amendment proposal which would have simplified the process involved in impeaching the nation’s President.
The amendment of the constitution which will mandate the President to present an annual state of the union address to the National Assembly was successful.
In a bid to protect themselves, the legislators also provided immunity for themselves over comments in the parliament. They also removed the provision which declares a lawmaker’s seat vacant after joining a government commission or board.
Despite a majority vote of 172 to 122, the amendment of section 143 which was sponsored by Hon. Yakubu Dogara of Bauchi (APC) which aims at simplifying the impeachment process of the President was unsuccessful as the 172 who voted in support did not amount to a two-third majority which should have amounted to 240 votes of the full complement of 360 members
Section 143 was the only clause out of the 19 clauses which were presented that failed to pass through at a session presided over by Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, the Deputy speaker of the house. Voting was done through the electronic voting machine.
Some of the proposals which scaled through yesterday includes:
i) The proposal to provide life insurance for members of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC.
ii) Section 67 (1) was amended to stipulate that the president shall attend a joint meeting of the NASS once every year to deliver an address on any issue in respect with the state of the nation in a manner prescribed by NASS.
iii) Members also voted to amend section 285 to compel election tribunals to deliver judgment within 160 days from the filing of an election petition.
The Deputy Speaker hailed the resolve of the lawmakers to put national interest above all other considerations as he praised the successful voting.
The spokesman of the House, Rep. Zakari Mohammed also the House would commence deliberation on the 2014 budget from next week.
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