Former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu disclosed that former President Goodluck Jonathan signed the 2015 Constitution Amendment Bill.
Ekweremadu who was the Chairman of the Committee on Constitution Review at the time stated this when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Hard Copy.
He said in the 7th and 8th Assembly the constitution was amended several times.
According to him, in the 8th Assembly, several issues were discussed, taken through due process and amended, adding however that there were controversies at the time of signing them into law.
Senator Ekweremadu argued that if allowed to sail through at the time, those amendments would have taken the country to a higher level.
Ekweremadu who had in April 2015 written to the president providing insights into the amendments, stressed that the National Assembly at the time believed that Jonathan assented to the amendment.
He, however, stressed that the Presidency did not return the original bill sent by the legislature.
They sent us a photocopy of the bill, so we wanted to see the original because we had it on good authority that it was assented to.
“And then they now sent us a photocopy of the document and when we insisted on seeing the original documents, the Attorney General of the Federation went to the Supreme Court to stop us from making that request.
“We went to the Supreme Court and the Apex Court asked us to settle the matter out-of-court, so we held several meetings in my office where they promised to assent to (the bill) when it was obvious to them that what they sent to us was a photocopy,” Ekweremadu revealed.
The lawmaker sadly noted that on the last day, Jonathan left office without signing the bill.
While stating that he did not ask President Jonathan the reasons for his action, Senator Ekweremadu said that he used a different approach to the amendment issue in the 8th Assembly
According to him, the lawmakers learned their lessons from the scuffle with the Jonathan administration.
He said that rather than lump the amendments into one document, the legislators devised means to separate the issues within the bill and tendered each as a separate item.
As-far-as Ekweremadu is concerned the new method yielded results as the new President decided to sign those issues which he wanted to sign, leaving out those he was not comfortable with.
The lawmaker was of the opinion that unlike the Jonathan era when “the baby was thrown away with the bathwater”, the efforts of the National Assembly were not in vain.
Disclaimer: Opinion and comments are solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the publishers.