Constitution review: CAN lists demands, urges NASS to remove immunity clause

Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, logo

By Jessica Onyegbula

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has charged the National Assembly to remove the immunity clause from the constitution, thereby making every Nigerian equal before the law.

The General-Secretary, CAN, Barr. Joseph Daramola, gave the charge at a press conference, on Thursday, in Abuja.

Daramola said that the Association was demanding for the creation of new states across the country, which, it said, would ensure ”administrative impartment and governmental dividends”.

CAN also demanded for devolution and decentralisation of power, and governance system, through formal introduction of geo-political zones and regions with clearly assigned roles.

These demands and others were presented by the Christian Apex body at the public hearing on Constitution Review by the National Assembly.

”Other recommendations the body made include, Gender Equality, Women empowerment through education and inheritance, equal opportunities in all social-political affairs, 18 years as the age of maturity and consent for marriage.

“Federal structure and power devolution: confederation of independent regions or federation of states or regions.

“Devolution and decentralisation of power and governance system through formal introduction of Geo-Political Zones and Regions, with clearly assigned roles.

“Constitutional recognition for traditional rulers and religious leaders, by strengthening their cultural and socio- religious leadership responsibilities.

“Constitutional backing for the operational decentralisation and recognition of law enforcement agencies, expunge sections 214 and 215 (4) OF the 1999 constitution,” he said.

Daramola noted that CAN, similarly demanded the redefinition of courts of superior jurisdiction, to accommodate the purpose of regional and zonal systems, with respective appellate structures, and removal of religion provisions or, if need be, inserting constitutional provisions for ecclesiastical courts.

“Revenue allocation and sharing formula to be guided by the principles of sustenance and benefits, to sources of derivation on ratio of 70% retained by regions and 30 per cent for the centre.

“Maintain the Financial autonomy and independence of the Judiciary. Separation of the office of Attorney General from the office of the Minister of Justice. Proper constitutional definition of an indigene and residency rights.

“Creation of new states for administrative impairment and governmental dividends, to include: Southern Kaduna, Kataf, Gurara State, Adada State, from present Enugu State, Cross River North State, Okun State, Okigwe State, Oke Ogun State”, he added.

In a similar vein, CAN said the National Assembly should: “Amend Section 3 (2) and delete sections 3 (6) of the 1999 constitution, to allow for the creation of local government areas of such autonomous administrative units, to be created by the respective regions and confederating units.

“Constitutional provisions for enforcement of our fundamental human Rights and review of the legislative lists contained in the second schedule of the 1999 constitution,” Daramola also said, on behalf of the association.