No plan to impeach Jonathan – House



— Clause to simplify impeachment of president fails

The House of Representatives yesterday said that it did not have any preconceived notion to impeach President Goodluck Jonathan.
This is just as the lower chamber was unable to get two-third majority required to pass the clause to simplify the impeachment of the president when they voted on the alteration Constitution.
At the end of voting to alter section 143 of the Constitution to remove ambiguities in the process of impeachment and removal of a President and Vice-President from office on allegations of gross misconduct and to provide for a more transparent and democratic procedure for impeachment and removal of the holder of the offices, 172 voted in support, 122 voted against it while 3 members abstain.
The bill was sponsored by Hon. Yakubu Dogara and three others in December last year and it was criticised as being targeted at Jonathan.
But making the clarification at a weekly briefing of reporters in the House, the deputy spokesman, Victor Ogene, said the outcome of voting clearly indicated that there was no plan to impeach the president.
“The outcome of voting on the alteration of the constitution yesterday has put a lie to the claim that the House has a preconceived notion to impeach Mr President.”
On the clause seeking compulsory attendance of the president to give a State of the Nation address to a joint sitting of the National Assembly by  altering  Section 67 of the 1999 Constitution, 293 voted yes while 7 members voted against it.
The lawmakers also voted in support of the alteration of Section 4 of the Constitution to provide immunity for members of the legislature for words spoken or written at the plenary or at committee proceedings, to guarantee freedom of speech and debate and that proceedings in legislative houses are not impeached or questioned in any cparliament.
The House also voted in favour of the alteration of Section 81(3) of the Constitution  to include the National Security agencies and the Nigerian Police in the first line charge of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.
Others include the amendment of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps Act to provide for financial contribution from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to enable the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps carry out its functions.
The amendment of the National Youth Service Corps Act, Cap N84 LFN, 2004 to make it mandatory for the Service Corps to provide life insurance policy for Corp Members.  This became a Constitution amendment issue because of the provisions of S. 315(8) of the Constitution that entrenched the NYSC Act as part of the Constitution also scale through.
A total of 12 clauses proposed by the ad-hoc committee met the legislative requirement of the two third.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwa yesterday said that the debate general principle of the 2014. Budget would start next week Tuesday.

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