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Friday, October 8, 2010

No court can stop legislative process –Sen. Ekweremadu


Chairman of the National Assembly Joint Committee on Constitution Review, Senator Ike Ekweremadu said yesterday that the court lacks power to stop it from carrying out its Constitutional responsibility, neither is it empowered to rule on its process of lawmaking.

This was just as the spokesman of the Senate, Ayogu Eze, equally declared that in the same vein, the National Assembly is not constitutionally empowered to make laws to stop the President from carrying out his functions.

According to Senator Eze; “what we are telling you is that the court cannot stop our work, based on Section 4 of the Constitution. Nobody can stop our work.”
Senator Ekweremadu told journalists at a press conference in reaction to a Lagos court ruling that the maintenance of status quo ante ordered by Justice Okechukwu Okeke on Wednesday was in reference to the first amendment of the 1999 Constitution, which has since been completed and gazetted and in operation.

Senator Ekweremadu, who is the Deputy Senate President, therefore, said that the National Assembly would be proceeding with its lawmaking function including the second alteration of the 1999 Constitution since the court did not rule that it should stop its lawmaking process.
Ekweremadu further explained that his understanding of the court’s ruling that the status quo should be sustained simply meant that the amendment that has since been completed and gazetted is quite in order.
According to him, “if there is anything to be sustained, it is the operation of the law, because as far as I am concern, that is the status quo that is present now. Besides, what is the issue? It is whether the President will sign the amendment to the Constitution or not. So, it is not whether we have power to amend the Constitution. That is not the issue in the court.

Story From AMOS DUNIA, Abuja
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