Friday, 27 May 2016
Sharia bill passes second reading without debate
The House of Representatives on Thursday said it did not conduct debate on the controversial Sharia bill as reported.
In a statement by Hon. Jonathan Gaza Gbefwi, the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Media and Publicity, he clarified that “The Bill came up on the floor and was automatically referred to the adhoc committee on constitution review. There was no debate on it either for or against because the House is a democratic representative chamber of the Nigerian people. Even if five people only have an issue with any section of the constitution, the House will give it a listening ear.
“The adhoc committee on constitution review has one member per state and women and other representation. The precedence is that it is in this committee that these kinds of matters are thrashed out. Any Bill that has potentials to divide the country on religious or tribal lines or to reopen settled constitutional issues will most likely fail in the committee.”
“It should be noted that constitutional review bills are special bills that under go many stages unlike an ordinary bill. These include committee stage, plenary stage for voting by 2/3rd of the House, 2/3rds of all the state houses of assembly before it comes back again to the National Assembly for voting again and finally it must receive presidential assent.
“We are still at a very early stage in the process and Nigerians should not worry about bills of these nature as the House has shown over the years to be the protector of Nigerians’ national unity and interest”, he further stated.