Constitutional Amendment: ​Falana defends Jonathan, wants lawmakers’ pension removed

Femi Falana

​Senior​ lawyer and activist, Femi Falana, on Wednesday berated lawmakers for threatening to veto President Goodluck Jonathan over his decision to withdraw assent to the constitutional amendment they sent to him.

The ​p​resident, last week, wrote to the National Assembly informing it of his decision to decline assent to the amendment bill​,​ based​ ​​on ​the legality of the procedure adopted in amending the​ ​Constitution.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Mr. Falana said even though the National Assembly has the power to override the President’s veto, the controversy over the constitutional amendment should be handled with caution on the part of the federal legislators.

He said the observation raised by Mr. Jonathan are serious

“Majority of Nigerians have consistently demanded for the removal of immunity clause from the Constitution
.​The amendment seeks to confer immunity on legislators in addition to the heads of the executive arm of government,” he said.

He also said another objectionable proposition in the 4th amendment is the provision of pension for life for former leaders of the National Assembly.

Mr. Falana said one of the former speakers of the House of Representatives, who will be a beneficiary of the largesse, spent a few months in office and resigned for fear of impeachment; while another retired speaker who served for less than four years is barely 40 years old.

He said the National Assembly should justify why Nigerians should pay life pension to such legislators for rendering part time service in the parliament.

The lawyer, however, disagreed o​n​ the insistence of the ​p​resident that the Amendment Bill should have been​ passed​ with the votes of four fifths of the National Assembly and approved by the resolution of the Houses of Assembly of not less than two-thirds of all the states of the federation.

“I had reminded the President that the last three alterations of the Constitution were passed by the two-thirds majority of the federal and state legislators and signed into law by him in 2010 and 2011,” he said.

Mr. Falana added that the National Assembly equally acted illegally in amending sections 8 and 9 of the Constitution without a resolution backed by four fifths majority of the members.

“If the Bill had been assented to by the President as proposed by the National Assembly
​,​ the entire 4th alteration to the Constitution would have been vitiated.

“In 2010, the National Assembly had purportedly empowered itself to amend the Constitution without the assent of the President of the Republic. The action was challenged in the Federal High Court by Olisa Agbakoba SAN, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association. The court declared the amendment illegal and unconstitutional and proceeded to set it aside in toto,” he said.

Mr. Falana said in view of the fundamental errors that characterized the 4th Alteration to the Constitution, the National Assembly members should go back to the drawing table.

He said they should have no difficulty in jettisoning the alteration of section 9 of the Constitution, as it is the height of legislative dictatorship to amend the Constitution of a country without the assent of the President and the endorsement of the people via a referendum.

“While the concern of the legislators for the rights of Nigerians to basic education and health is appreciated the inclusion of both rights in chapter four of the Constitution is unnecessary as both rights have been statutorily recognized.

“However, if the members of the National Assembly refuse to remove the objectionable provisions before overriding the veto of the President they would have engaged in a futile exercise which is likely to be challenged in a law court,” he said.


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  • burning spear

    leave Jonathan out of your yeye Yoruba lying tongue

    • SAM .A

      Sorry o , this election that you lost,and have been licking the wound & gnasing your teeth for few weeks , has been making u to develop more hatred for Yorubas, any time you see any Yoruba on social media you back at them like dog , and pour out all the venom You are killing yourself alive because 1 billion of you cannot stop Falana.
      More than 2 million words you wrote on social media ended up given you 0.00 % achievement

    • Omotolaaraujo

      He already has his own. You can change your online name to Burning Noodle.

  • burning spear

    The ownership of choice properties and businesses by former Lagos State Governor, Mr Bola Ahmed Tinubu, valued at over N9 trillion ranks him the most corrupt Politician in Nigeria, worst than self-confessed thief, Mr James Ibori, ex governor of Delta State, the People Democratic Party, PDP, has said.

    Such properties and businesses include the Ikeja Shopping Mall, Oriental Hotel, Renaissance Hotel, First Nation Airline, Vintage Publications (publishers of The Nation newspapers), TV Continental, Radio Continental, and so many others.

    The Apes in APC should “tell Nigerians how a man who was governor for eight years with fixed salary and allowances could have acquired so much money to buy almost everything in Lagos and stop insulting our sensibilities with nonsensical talks which are only aimed at covering up their non-performance and looting of treasuries in the States under their control. Start with tinubu for us to see and your certificate issue-

    • Burbank

      6 years as South-south Ijaw president and he cannot do anything? Sai Buhari

  • Parasites_in_Power

    Falana should close his mouth. What we want is a total disintegration of Nigeria or a confederation. Then any country or region which so desires can continue to pay its lawmakers pension in perpetuity even after their deaths. When an unproductive Kwakwanso runs from Governorship to Senate to continue eating free money from the SE & SS, then you can only imagine why they want pensions. Crooks! Parasites. Na their way be that.

    Break up Nigeria today, corruption ends same day.

    Dimeji has gone underground. Very soon the small boy will rear his ugli head and those his directionless teeth asking for votes for a position in Senate.

    • Burbank

      Ok, I break it up for you today! Next patient please?

  • Omotolaaraujo

    Thank you Falana.

    • Ade

      Where was he when Fashola approved jumbo package as benefits for Tinubu. Falana is Tinubu stooge.

      • emmanuel

        Falana is a bad Nigerian and a pretender.

        He is actually the Civil Society voice of Tinubu and care less about public opinion on it.

        Those who refused to make him a SAN for a long time actually knew him better than all of us who campaigned for him.

        • Old No7

          To ur commet:

  • emmanuel

    Nigeria is not moving any where. Buhari cannot change our skewed Recurrent and Capital expenditure with these gangster legislature.

    Tambuwal will collect Pension from here and another from Sokoto State. Same for Akume or Saraki if they become Senate President.

    Nigeria may never rise again. It was not about GEJ, it is about original fraud from Amalgamation.

    I urge those who want to opt out of Nigeria not to give up.

  • Nigerian

    Life pension scheme for self-serving Nigerian legislatures is the height of injustice. it should be a serve and go affair. Most of them are retired civil servants and already enjoying one. This we must stand against. The wealth is ours and thousands are dying of poverty, malnutrition and sickness. WE SAY NO TO GREEDINESS

  • Burbank

    Billions wasted every month on lifetime pensions for them and their wives and their childrens and free houses and furniture and cars and security and domestic help.
    Buhari must stop these “legalized” robbery and divert the money to schools, hospitals, roads, infrastructure and security for the benefits of ALL Nigerians.