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Govt raises panel on constitution

Published by Guardian on Wed, 18 Jul 2012

Dissolves refugee agency's boardTHE Federal Government has raised a team to study recent constitutional conferences. It has three weeks to do the job.A statement by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim, yesterday named the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, as chairman of the eight-man committee.Anyim said the decision to raise the committee followed the submission of the report of outstanding issues from the recent constitutional conferences on Tuesday last week to President Goodluck Jonathan.Other members of the committee include the following ministers: Chief Emeka Wogu (Labour and Productivity), Dr. Shamsudeen Usman (National Planning), Senator Idris Umar (Transport), Mr. Labaran Maku (Information) and Ibrahim Mailafia (Environment) as well as the Minister of State for FCT, Jumoke Akinjide. The Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will serve as the committee's secretariat.Also, the Federal Government has dissolved the board of the National Commission for Refugees following certain developments that have hampered its smooth operations.In another statement, Anyim said the Commissioner for Refugees who is also the Chief Executive Officer is also suspended from office immediately while the most senior director takes over.The Commissioner and the board's members are to hand over all its property in their possession to the director.The committee's terms of reference are as follows:' identify the areas/issues on which the review committee affirmed the consensus earlier reached in previous conferences and for which the review committee prepared draft bills for consideration and legislation;' identify the areas/issues on which past constitutional conferences had arrived at a consensus but which the review committee felt the consensus was no longer relevant and therefore did not prepare any draft bills. For these issues so identified, to reconsider whether the position of review committee is sustainable or if government should reconsider those issues;' identify areas/issues on which the previous conferences and the review committee did not reach a consensus;' study each of the draft bills submitted by the review committee and make recommendations for the government to either accept, modify or reject them in part or whole as the case may be; and,' any other relevant matters arising from the report that promotes or affects the government's overall objectives to entrench democracy, constitutionalism and good governance for the purposes of cohesion and transformation.
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