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Abuja Based Lawyer Faults Passage of Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill

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Abuja Based Lawyer Faults Passage of Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill

 

Barrister Mubarak Tijani

Barrister Mubarak Tijani

Inspite of the general euphoria that has welcomed the action of President Muhammadu Buhari in assenting to the not too young to run bill yesterday, an Abuja based Lawyer, Mubarak Tijani, has faulted the process saying it might be an effort in futility.

While speaking to BlackBox Nigeria, Mubarak said the applause been given to the National Assembly and the President for Assenting The Praised Not Too Young To Run Bill might be short lived if the relevant sections of the Nigeria 1999 Constitution is not amended.

“The signing into law of the Not Too Young To Run Bill shows the in-depth of the people we have in power and the level of scrutiny attached to existing Legislation before the enactment of new ones.

Read also ‘Not Too Young To Run, What’s That?’Ambode Trashes Agitation, Advises Youth

“A law is said to be successfully passed and assented to if all the process to successful passage of a Bill is adhered to and an existing one repealed and or amended.”

In the case of the Not Too Young To Run Bill, it could be observed that the various sections of the 1999 Constitution which provides for the Qualifications into various Elective Positions such as Sections 131 (b) of the 1999 Constitution as Amended has not been altered.

“The section provides for the age of Forty (40) amongst other requirements before an individual can be eligible to be voted for into the position of the President of the FRN. While sections 65 (1a and b) provides for the age requirements for an aspirant who intends to contest for a seat in Senate and House of Representatives in the National Assembly to be of Thirty-five (35) years and Thirty (30) years respectively. A person who also intends to contest for a seat as a Member of a State Assembly must also have attained the age of Thirty(30) years as provided for in section 106 (b) of the 1999 Constitution as Amended. Meanwhile, a person shall only be qualified to contest the office of Governor of a State if he/she is Thirty-five (35) years of age as specified in sections 177 (b).

“It must be noted that, the operative words in all of this section is the Phrase Shall and the Court has interpreted same to be Mandatory.

All been said, it is important to emphasize that, the supremacy of the 1999 Constitution as Amended is second to none and all things to be done must be in consonance with the various Proviso of the 1999 Constitution as same will be declared Null and Void and of no effect if it run contrary to the dictates of the constitution.”

He stated futher that, “the Not Too Young to Run Bill as passed and assented to is a welcome development but cannot be operative if the stated sections relevant to the age qualifications of an individual into elective positions is not amended in the Constitution. The Constitution being the Grundnorm provides in Section 1 Subsection 3 of the 1999 Constitution as Amended that if any other Law is inconsistent with the provisions of this constitution, this constitution shall prevail and that other law shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void. This translates that, the Not Too Young To Run Bill no matter how laudable it is, is a Nullity Ab Initio as it cannot rank Pari Pasu with the 1999 Constitution FRN as Amended as it is Inconsistent with Same.

The National Assembly needs to get the President to assent to the Fourth Alteration Bill which tends to amend these relevant sections before we can now assume the formal commencement of the Not Too Young To Run Bill.”

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