Nasarawa assembly overrules Al-Makura, passes LG law

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The Nasarawa State House of Assembly on Monday overruled Gov .Umaru Al-Makura when it passed into law the state Local Government Amendment Bill 2013. The bill stipulates one-year tenure for elected council chairmen and councillors

At the plenary on Monday, the lawmakers passed the bill into law through a simple majority voice vote.

After a prolonged debate over a letter sent to the assembly by the Governor, explaining his inability to sign the bill into law, the lawmakers invoked the powers conferred on them by the constitution to override the decision of the governor to ensure passage of the bill into law.

The action followed a motion by the Majority Leader, Godiya Akwashiki (PDP, Nasarawa-Eggon West) on the issue.

Akwashiki argued that since it had taken the Governor more than three months to sign the bill into law, far beyond the 30 days allowed by the constitution, the assembly was left with no option than to override the executive and to pass the bill into law through two-thirds simple majority.

Earlier in his submission, Umaru Tanko-Tunga (APC, Awe North), cautioned both the executive and legislative arms of government against taking decisions capable of causing more hardships to the people at the grassroots.

“The people at the grassroots are the meal tickets of both the executive and legislature and as such we should be careful not to subject them to further hardships”, he said.

Tanko-Tunga, who described the one-year tenure passed by the assembly for elected council officials “as not practical”, however, disagreed with the executive for allowing the Nasarawa State Independent Electoral Commission (NASIEC) to commence preparations for the council elections even in the absence of the requisite law.

Through a voice vote, the Speaker,  Ahmed Musa Mohammed, pronounced the passage of the State Local Government Amendment Bill into law.

Commenting on the development, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Innocent Lagi, said the lawmakers acted out of ignorance.

”The assembly cannot overrule the executive and pass a bill into law through a voice vote,” he said.

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