Group warns Nigerian lawmakers against manipulating constitution amendment process

Nigeria's National Assembly

The Alliance for Credible Election demands accountability from Nigeria’s government.

A Civil Society Organisation, Alliance for Credible Election, ACE, has warned the National Assembly not to manipulate the process of the 1999 constitution amendment process as it did when it reviewed the 2010 Electoral act.

The ACE asked the National Assembly to hasten the process of amending the constitution in order to meet the July 2013 deadline it set for the exercise.

The organisation’s Deputy General Secretary, Ezechona Asuzu, who spoke on behalf of the group in Abuja on Thursday, asked the lawmakers to respect the views Nigerians made during the sessions organized across the country, on the amendment, when voting commences.

“We reject any move by any cabal or interest group to truncate the will of the Nigerian people as already manifestly expressed at the people sessions and public hearings on Constitution review,” the group said at a news conference, which was attended by other CSOs such as Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC; Partners for Electoral Reform, PER; and Transition Monitoring Group, TMG.

The ACE expressed worry that almost six weeks after the House of Representatives aborted the public presentation of the peoples’ session on the review of the constitution, the legislature had refused to offer Nigerians any reasonable explanation for the doing so, neither did it convene another session.

The group condemned the murder of two students of Nasarawa State University allegedly by armed soldiers and demanded the setting up of a panel of inquiry to unveil those behind the killing.

It also demanded the quick resolution of outstanding cases of extra judicial killings, including Apo Six; January 2012 fuel subsidy protests; dumping of bodies in Ezumezu River; and the ongoing fight against Boko Haram.

The group said, “We demand that the Federal Government, the Nigerian Army and Nasarawa State Government set up a panel of inquiry to establish those behind the murder of these young Nigerian citizens. The panel of inquiry should also unravel the remote causes that led to the students’ protest and recommend appropriate sanctions.

“We demand expeditious investigation into the murder of the Nasarawa two. Their killers should also be speedily brought to justice. We also demand quick resolution of outstanding cases of extra judicial killings; Apo six, January 2012 fuel subsidy protests, Ezumezu River dumping and the ongoing fight against Boko Haram.

“We demand a full stop to the militarization of Nigeria’s democratic process. Military personnel must as much as possible be restricted to their barracks. In situations that require military intervention, their conduct must conform to rules of engagement and global best practices.”

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