Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 28 May 2016 | 1,842 times
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, has stated that the controversial Sharia Law Bill has not passed second reading. He also explained that the Bill in question only seeks to amend the provision of the Constitution to make some criminal aspects of Sharia law applicable
Responding to inquiries on his twitter handle @Speakerdogara on Friday evening, the Speaker said: “Bills are always gazetted before they are scheduled for Second Reading and Gazettes are public documents.”
He described as “crass ignorance” of the legislative process for someone to insinuate that a bill could be sneaked in and passed.
The Speaker explained that being a constitutional amendment bill, the “Bill is not a regular Bill that can be said to have passed second reading, passing it only meant it’s in the mill.”
According to him, “All such Bills are read and referred to the House Special Ad-Hoc Committee on Constitution Review for Legislative fireworks”, and “only the House Special Ad Hoc Committee on Constitutional review can propose a final Bill on constitutional review.”
Dogara added: “As it is there no proposed Bill from the Ad Hoc Committee yet. So the Bill in question is just a working document. Those talking about sneaking a Bill are either ignorant of the process or plainly mischievous.”
“The Special Ad Hoc Committee is bound to consider it just like all other references to the Ad Hoc Committee. In real sense it’s only when the said Ad Hoc Committee proposes it to the House that we will have the Bill to vote on.”
“The Ad Hoc Committee is free to recommend or reject it and where it rejects it the Bill dies there and as such it’s no use allowing debates on such Bills that are for reference.”
The Speaker assured that “the Bill will be thoroughly debated and examined by our in-house experts serving on the Special Ad Hoc Committee. If it passes the Ad Hoc Committee, it will now be debated by the House in plenary nd be subjected to 2/3rd vote.”
“In any case, recommendations from the public on constitutional amendment are accepted by the House without debate, and advised those concerned to get a copy of the bill as it is a public document, having been gazetted,” he added.
•Photo shows Speaker Dogara.
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