Following the submission of the report on the findings of the Alfa Belgore-led committee to President Goodluck Jonathan, the president has, on Tuesday, set up another committee to study the report on the findings of the committee which was saddled with the responsibility of review of the constitution. It is important to point out that Justice Alfa Belgore (Rtd), who headed the committee, is the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN). The same man whose abilities the president extolled to the heavens just a couple of days ago while swearing in the new CJN.
The new committee, which is headed by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Bello Adoke (SAN), has three weeks to submit its report. And, confirming this development, statement from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim, said the setting up of the committee was sequel to the submission of the report of the Presidential committee on the review of outstanding issues from recent constitutional conferences in Nigeria.
According to him, the committee will, among others, “identify the areas/issues on which the review committee affirmed consensus earlier reached in previous conferences and for which the review committee prepared draft bills for consideration and legislation, identify the areas/issues on which past constitutional conferences had arrived at a consensus but which the review committee felt the consensus was no longer current or relevant and therefore did not prepare any draft bills.”
The committee will also “identify areas/issues on which the previous conferences and the review committee did not reach a consensus; study each of the draft bills submitted by the review committee and make recommendations for the government to either accept, modify or reject them in part or whole as the case may be.”
The Belgore-led committee, which submitted its report on July 10, had recommended “(a) Reduction of powers at the centre and devolution of same to the states federating units; (b) Allow the centre to retain necessary powers to enable it exercise its sovereignty, (c) Enable the centre to act for the federating units in areas of common and mutually beneficial interest and services,” amongst others. The committee also recommended the scrapping of the office of the first lady