Supreme Court halts constitution amendment

It was gathered that the Supreme Court on Thursday in Abuja halted the   ongoing   amendment to the 1999 Constitution.

A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice   Mahmud Mohammed, consequently directed that the status quo be maintained with regard to the issue.

The order followed the suit filed by the Attorney-General of the Federation,   Mohammed Adoke (SAN),   challenging the passage of the 4th Alteration Bill by the 7th National Assembly which tenure ends on June 5.

The court explained that the order implied that no further step should be taken by parties in the suit with respect to the issue. It therefore fixed June 18 for further proceedings.

Before granting the order to maintain the status quo, the apex court raised questions about the composition of parties in the suit.

For instance, it asked Adoke’s counsel,   Bayo Ojo (SAN), whether the suit ought not to have been filed in the name of the President instead of the AGF.

It also wondered whether the state Houses of Assembly which were part of the constitution amendment process ought not to have been joined as parties.

The court then agreed to give Ojo and the National Assembly, the only defendant in the suit, time to file their written addresses on the issues raised.

The CJN, who read the court’s ruling said, “To allow the learned counsel for the plaintiff time to address the court on salient issues surrounding the case, regarding the proper parties, and having regard to the requirement of the Supreme Court of Nigeria Additional Jurisdiction Act, CAP F16, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section 232 of the 1999 Constitution, prescribing the original jurisdiction of this court and the party that can invoke that jurisdiction, this case is further adjourned to June 18, 2015 for the parties to address the court on these salient issues.

 

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