An attempt by the House of Representatives to amend Section 143 of the constitution, on the removal of the President and his Vice failed on Thursday.
The vote of 172 members in favour of the clause, 122 against and three, who abstained, could not garner the two-third of the votes of members required to amend the section.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that out of the 19 clauses contained in the report of the ad-hoc committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution, only the impeachment clause did not scale through.
The section, which was rejected, provides that the President or his Vice could be removed from office, “whenever a notice of any allegation in writing, signed by not less than one-third of members of the House of Representatives, is presented to the speaker of the House of Representatives”.
Highlights of the amendments include immunity for lawmakers for words spoken during parliamentary sittings and the removal of the clause that provides that a lawmaker’s seat be declared vacant if he joins a board or commission of government.
Others are insurance for NYSC members against death and serious injury during official duty and sanction for failure to refuse summons by the legislature.
The Deputy Speaker, Mr Emeka Ihedioha, described the successful voting on outstanding bills on the constitution review as a triumph of democracy.
He said that the feat was the resolve of the house to always put national interest above all other considerations.
Ihedioha, who is also the Chairman of the House adhoc Committee on the Review of the Constitution, noted that members had put behind them individual, political and ethnic differences to vote on the clauses.
“The 7th House has by this successful event, once again, showed that it is committed to the well-being and welfare of all Nigerians,” he said.
According to him, members take into cognisance the mood of the nation, the yearnings of their constituents and the dictates of their conscience in the voting process.
“This 7th House of Representatives has once again shown that it is more concerned about the welfare and well-being of Nigerians than any other interest”, he said.
Earlier, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal praised the deputy speaker for providing “firm and good leadership” to the adhoc committee on the constitution review.
Tambuwal said that the successful culmination of the review process in the house reflected the spirit of diligence and unity of purpose displayed by Ihedioha in piloting the affairs of the committee.