Proposed Legislative Branch Duties

 **Additions/subtractions welcomed**

This is my attempt to get ordinary Nigerians like you and I to be part of the process of shaping the ongoing debate about restructuring, particularly what we want a new constitution for Nigeria to look like.

Below are the suggested Legislative duties I put together (some of the phrases/sentences were taken from Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution) but structurally inspired by the U.S Constitution. The outcome is almost 180-degree different from that contained in the 1999 Constitution because it gives the federating units (states) much more power.

Preamble; Legislative; Executive; Judicial; States; Rights of Nigerians; Land, Mineral & Others; Amendment and Supreme Law are the categories I will be publishing my suggestions under.

Feel free to copy, share, add, subtract and or critic.

Proposed Legislative Branch Duties

The legislative powers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be vested in a National Assembly, which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members elected by the People every two years in their respective States.

To be a House of Representatives Member, a person needs to be at least 25 years old, Citizen of Nigeria for seven years and be inhabitant of the State from which he/she is contesting.

The National Assembly shall set the Number of House of Representatives for the States according to their respective Populations determined through Census every ten years. The National Assembly may change such Rules of Apportionments as may be necessary. Each State is entitled to at least one Representatives.

The Governor of a State shall be responsible for filling vacant House of Representatives seats by calling for an election and shall, if necessary, temporarily fill the Representative seat by appointing a qualified person until elections are held.

The House of Representatives shall have the singular Power of Impeachment by serving as the Persecutors while the Senate as Jurors and shall choose their Speaker and other Officers.

The Senate shall consist of Senators elected every six years in their respective States elected by the people.

Requirements to be a Senator are: be 30 years of age, Citizen of Nigeria for nine years and be inhabitant of the State from which he/she is contesting. There shall be two Senators from every State and each Senator shall have one vote.

The Senate shall choose their Officers including the Senate President.

The Senate shall be responsible for trying Impeachments under Oath and gets conviction only when two-thirds of the Members present vote. The Chief Justice shall preside over the Impeachment of the President.

When a Public Office holder is impeached, they shall vacate their position and be disqualified to run for public Office, Trust or Profit under the Federal Republic of Nigeria but they shall, if convicted, be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

The Governor of any State shall be responsible for filling vacant Senate seats by calling for an election and shall, if necessary, temporarily fill the Senate seat by appointing a qualified person until elections are held.

State legislators shall be responsible for describing the Dates, Venues, and the Manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives; however, the National Assembly may at any time pass a Bill or change such Rules.

The National Assembly shall meet at least once in a year beginning the 5th day of January unless they choosing a different date and shall set a date for their elections.

The National Assembly shall make provisions in respects to Qualification of its own Members, of being its own Election Tribunal and Returns of its Members, and a Majority of each should constitute a Quorum to work together; however, a small Number may defer sessions from day to day plenary sessions, and may approve to compel the Attendance of truant Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as every House may decide

Every House may decide the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for misconduct, and, remove a Member with two-thirds majority.

Each House shall be responsible for keeping Journal of its Proceedings, and its distribution from time to time unless there are Parts as may in their Judgment be kept secret; and only the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House may be written on the consent of one fifth of the Members present.

The Senate and the House of Reps cannot adjourn for more than three days without the consent of each other and cannot meet in an unauthorized location.

Compensation for Senators and House of Representatives shall be determined by Law. Senators and House of Representatives members cannot be arrested while on legislative sessions in their various Houses, or on their way to and from such acts except for Treason, Breach of Peace and Felony. They have the right not to disclosed any of their deliberations in their respective Houses to anyone.

Senators and House of Representatives Members shall not hold any public Office under the Federal Republic of Nigeria concurrently nor shall any of them belong to both Houses at the same time.

House of Representatives shall be responsible for initiating Bills that raise revenue for the Federal Government and the Senate must agree or change the Bill which shall go back to the House of Representatives again for another deliberation.

Before a Bill becomes a Law it shall pass the Senate and the House of Representatives with two-thirds majority in each House and accented to by the President. The President has ten days to sign the bill if not the Bill becomes a Law. If the President returns the Bill with changes within the ten days, both Houses shall reconsider the Bill starting from the House of Representatives and sent to the President for accent. A Bill shall not become a Law if by Adjournment of either or both the Houses, affects the Return of said Bill within ten days.

Powers of the National Assembly

Borrowing of moneys within or outside Nigeria

Matters relating to Citizenship and Immigration

Bankruptcy and insolvency

Protection of Intellectual rights and property (Copyrights and Patents)

Coining money and punishment for its abuse

Defense

Post offices and postal roads

Taxation of incomes, profits and capital gains

Taxes on Imports and Export, Excises and borrowing for the purpose of paying Debt and the general welfare of Nigerians. All Taxes on Imports and Export, Excises shall be uniform throughout Nigeria.

Authorize war, provide and maintain Army, Navy and Air Force and the Rules governing its operations.

Weights and measures.

Establishment of courts lower than the Supreme court

Foreign Relations

Commerce between States or Nigeria and other countries.

Powers necessary and proper to carry out all matters with respect to which the National Assembly has power in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

 

Not Limited

Any public debt incurred by the National Assembly to repel insurrection or rebellion authorized by law shall not be questioned.

 

Limitations

There shall be no tax or Duty on exported goods and services from a State to another State.

No prisoner shall be held without legal or jurisdictional basis except in case of Rebellion or Invasion.

No person shall be condemned, denied inheritance or convicted without trial.

The National Assembly shall not prefer one port over the other as regards to commerce or regulation and no vessels to and from a port shall be legally bound to stop, clear or pay Duties in all of the States.

No moneys shall be withdrawn from the Treasury Fund or any other public fund of the Federation, except in the manner described by the National Assembly, receipts and statement of which shall be recorded and made public.

No person shall be conferred a title of Royalty under this Constitution nor accept any present, Emolument, Office or Title from anyone or any country.

End.

**Additions/subtractions welcomed**

 

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