Back Page Columnist

Why CRC must ignore Prof Yadudu’s scare – mongering (1)

INTRODUCTION

 

I have just read, to my utmost chagrin and dismay, a release authored by Prof. Auwalu Yadudu and currently trending in the social media. Yadudu titled his piece (which apparently represents his memorandum to the NASS Committee on the Review of the Constitution), “avoid taking the slippery slope path to constitutional review”.

 

Although, I have submitted my personal memorandum to the Constitutional Review Committee after my ex-tempore interaction with the chairman and members of the Constitutional Review Committee at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, on Friday 4th June, 2021, I have decided to do this rejoinder to Prof Yadudu’s poor treatise to set the records straight.

 

Prof. Yadudu’s memo is nothing short of a red-herring-and deliberate scare – mongering carefully designed to frighten the NASS from critically examining the near descent of Nigeria into a failed state, and retrieving her from the nadir under agreed and negotiated terms of co-existence through the promulgation of a new Constitution.

 

By this rejoinder, I hereby call on the NASS to maximally reject and ignore Yadudu and his incoherent thesis. His submissions are neither grounded in law, logic nor in morality and constitutionalism. I have not seen any “slippery slope on the current constitutional review exercise, except in Yadudu’s fertile imagination. The NASS should therefore, discard his recommendations in their entirety.

 

They are meant to nurture the current repressive system of unitarism, social injustice and faulty lines of our fumbling, dawdling and groggy country. If I may ask, why is Yadudu, like some people of his ideological persuasion, afraid of a brand new Constitution and a peoples’ Referendum?

 

The three important words that appear to frighten them most are “New Constitution” and “Referendum”. Let me regretfully announce to Yududu that he cannot run away from these indispensable words if Nigeria must stay indissoluble and indivisible. I will show this anon.

 

Prof. Yadudu had represented the North West geopolitical Zone at the 2014 National Conference convoked by the then President Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Let me shock Nigerians more.

 

Prof Auwalu Yadudu was not only a North West delegate to the 2014 National Conference (National Confab), he was indeed the Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Law, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Reforms. I also belonged to this Committee.

 

The Hon Justice George Oguntade, Justice of the Supreme Court (rtd) and erstwhile High Commissioner to the UK, was the Chairman of the Committee. Yadudu specifically presided on the very day when the modus operandi (Legal framework) of operationalising the entire over 600 recommendations of the 2014 National Conference was hotly debated and agreed upon.

 

Justice Oguntade was unavoidably absent on that particular occasion. I had been appointed to head a compact subcommittee to draft the legal framework of implementing the entire Confab report.

 

And I did. We debated it. Ideas for ideas. Logic for logic. Wit for wit. We finally arrived at the way forward by proposing a Legal framework for plenary’s debate and adoption at pages 19 to 20 of our Committee’s report.

 

Pursuant to this, the plenary wholly accepted our committee’s report at pages 230-231 (paragraph 5.8.16) as follows:

 

LEGAL FRAME WORK

 

(i) “Policy recommendations arising from the Conference should be implemented by the presidency. (ii) Recommendations requiring abrogation or amendment of existing Laws other than the Constitution should be initiated/carried out by the relevant Authorities, Ministerial Departments and Agencies.

 

(iii) On recommendations requiring amendments to certain Sections of the Constitution or the emergence of an entirely new Constitution, Conference resolved to draft a Bill to that effect for the president to forward to the National Assembly for further actions. In this regard, a form of interface with the National Assembly should be initiated by the President; and

(iv) Conference recommendations should be taken to the Court of public opinion/Referendum, if the need arises”. In chapter 7 of the Conference Report (at pages 897-898), critical issues bordering on people’s sovereignty, a new Constitution and referendum of the people were further emphasised by the conference report as follows:

 

The exercise of people’s sovereignty

 

Delivering his Inaugural Address at the National Conference on 17th March, 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR, touched on the inter-relationship between constitutionmaking and referendum in the following words: Let me at this point thank the National Assembly for introducing the provision for a referendum in the proposed amendment of the Constitution.

 

This should be relevant for this Conference if at the end of the deliberations, the need for a referendum arises. I therefore urge the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly to speed up the Constitutional amendment process especially with regard to the subject of referendum.

 

“According to section 14(2)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sovereignty belongs to the people.

 

The conduct of a referendum, if the need arises, on the Resolutions of the National Conference can only serve to obtain the approval or endorsement (imprimatur) of the entire citizenry of Nigeria. Notable examples of referendums in Africa include South Africa (1992), Tunisia (2002), Kenya (2005) and Egypt (2011)”.

 

NOW THIS

 

Debate on modalities for implementation of conference resolutions “In the course of determining the modalities for the implementation of Conference Resolutions, different shades of opinion emerged from the Delegates, to wit:

(a) Amendments to the Constitution which are proposed by the Conference should be embedded into the 1999 Constitution and the resultant document should be regarded as the 1999 Constitution (as amended):

(b) The Volume of Amendments embedded in the 1999 Constitution would make it a new document which should be regarded as making it a new constitution. “If Conference decides that it is a 1999 Constitution (as amended), then the process

 

bringing it into being will be through the normal constitutional process as envisaged in the 1999 Constitution. “However, if Conference decides that the resultant document is a brand new constitution, then to bring it into existence will necessitate a referendum. Conference is still to take a decision on whether it will be a 1999 Constitution (as amended) or a brand new Constitution at the close of plenary on Thursday, 10th July, 2014.”

 

Consequent upon its very volatile nature, the above matter was therefore pushed to the NASS, whose critical role in the birthing of a new Constitution has never been doubted by me, or any reasonable person.

 

From the foregoing, how could Yadudu so unfairly claim that some “separatist” elements or “some clever chaps” “surreptitiously cooked” and called for “the adoption of a new Constitution”? haba! Indeed, pursuant to paragraph 7.2.2 of plenary decision as stated above, the Conference adopted an annexure titled “The Nigeria charter for Nation Reconciliation and Integration”.

 

This could be found at pages, 716-721 of the Conference report. Article 18, page 720 of this Conference report Charter provides, “The consent to live together in unity and harmony and the principles and purpose of our national co-existence stated heretofore in this charter shall be incorporated into our Constitution upon, adoption by the Nigerian people through a referendum”.

 

There were 492 delegates at this Conference, specifically elected or selected and put forward directly by the various ethnic nationalities, youths, students, market women, and men, members of (serving and retired), security forces, traditional rulers, civil society, labour, Diplomatic corps, professionals,

 

Elder Statesmen and women, private sector, the media, states, geopolitical zones, federal government, etc.

 

Yadudu was only one of these distinguished Nigerians. I was one of them. They all agreed to the above recommendations.

 

These are the eminent Nigerians gathered at a conference presided over by late Hon. Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, a Northerner like Yadudu, that now fought to unfairly diminish by terming it a “confab whose members lack popular mandate and whose composition is undemocratic having been assembled in a very skewed manner by the use of a template of dubious legal or constitutional basis”.

 

How unfair and immoral? It is therefore heart-rending that Yadudu could question the validity and legitimacy, not only of the 2014 Conference itself, but also its very outcome and recommendations as clearly stated above. In questioning the legitimacy and legality of the 2014 Confab representatives, Yadudu said, inter alia:

“While we are on it, one needs not be reminded that the National Conference comprised unelected members – however dignified or experienced they may be in their individual capacities – and, consequently, it lacked the powers of a constituent assembly, in the exercise of which it may propose or adopt a new constitution. In other words, the Confab, being unelected, does not derive its mandate from the sovereign will of the people and cannot claim to be speaking for them.

 

For such a defective Confab to assume such a role or purport to adopt a new constitution, as representatives of the people or under any guise, would amount to the usurpation of powers it does not possess. It cannot discharge or exercise a mandate not conferred on it by law”

 

Some questions for Yadudu

 

What was Yadudu doing at the 2014 conference for six months, earning his fat monthly allowances? I had, on my part, told the whole world that I would not reject my pay, but would use my earnings to help the less privileged and hoi polio, and I did just that (see the following links of 24th March, 2014 – https://premiumtimes.com; https://www. vanguard.com; https://www.247reports. com; https://peoplesdaily.ng.com).

 

The last time I checked, I was never told that Yadudu returned to government coffers any of his monthly earnings for the Confab period. Prof Musa Yakubu, now INEC Chairman, was the Assistant Secretary (Finance Administration) at the Confab. He has not told Nigerians that Yadudu ever returned his earnings.

 

My personal checks with relevant government departments did not also show that he returned his huge earnings to the Nigerian people.

 

Upon what basis can he then question a Conference that he voluntarily attended, fully participated in, drew income from, and was actually Deputy Chairman of its very strategic spinal cord Committee that designed the roadmap (Legal framework) for implementing the entire Conference recommendations?

 

And this

 

Crack your ribs

 

The stress is abhorrent and torturous. The fears are enormous. To ease these, we shall week after week, share some laughter to kick-start a fresh week. Laughter is the biggest medicine for stress. It is therapeutic. Says Mary Peterbone Poole, “he who laughs, lasts!”.

QUESTION: I put USA as first choice and UK as second choice when coming into the world, I don’t know who changed my file to Nigeria.

 

ANSWER: Na your cut off mark no reach. I don tire for this country! How can someone who is marrying a second wife do “Bachelor’s Eve”?

 

Thought for the week

 

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it. (Abraham Lincoln).

 

LAST LINE

 

Fellow Nigerians, synergise with me every week, to put our heads together on how to retool and re-engineer the fabric of Nigeria.

 

Right here on “The Nigerian Project”, by Chief Mike A. A. Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, FCIArb, LL.M, Ph. D, LL.D.

 

• Follow me on twitter @ MikeozekhomeSAN

 

TRY IT TONIGHT!!! ---

 

Abuja Civil Servant reveals (FREE) secret Fruits that Increased his Manh0d size, gives Stronger Erections and ends Premature Erection in 7days...

   

CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS.

 

%d bloggers like this:
Fake Richard Mille Replica Watches, www.richardmille.to The ceramic upper and lower cases are imported from Taiwan and are processed by ATPT ceramics to form Y-TZP ceramics. After high-tech anti-fingerprint technology, they present a delicate and soft sub-black material. This color quality has remained unchanged for a hundred years. The color and luster are more detailed to achieve the ceramic tone visual pattern electroplating upper and lower shells that are infinitely close to the original products, with anti-reflective coating sapphire glass! The tape uses a soft and delicate Malaysian imported top rubber strap, and the movement is equipped with an imported Seiko NH movement. The buckle of this version is made according to the original size and thinness, making it feel more comfortable and intimate, the highest version on the market Richard Mille Replica