The proposed amendments of some sections of the 1999 Constitution scale through, president, governors and lawmakers may face a fresh hurdle in order to be eligible to run for any office.
In the proposed amendments, those seeking to be president, governors, senators, members of the House of Representatives and members of Houses of Assembly, must posses new minimum educational qualifications.
The Bill which has already passed first reading, seeks to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to provide for the amendment of Sections 65 (2) (a), 131 (d), Section 106 (c) and Section 177 (d) on minimum education qualification for those seeking election into the State Assembly, Governor, National Assembly and office of The President.
Senator Isfifanus Gyang from Plateau State and a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is sponsor of the Bill.
“The Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (in this Bill referred to as “the Principal Act”) is altered as set out in the Bill,” part of the proposed amendments reads.
“The Bill is seeking the alteration of section 65 (2) (a) of the Constitution which deals with the qualifications for intending members of the National Assembly
“The existing law which the Bill seeks to amend reads: “A person shall be qualified for election under subsection (1) of this section if he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.
Section 65 (2) (a) is now rephrased to read, “if he has been educated to at least National Diploma level or its equivalent.”
The Bill also seeks the alteration of Section 131 (d) which deals with minimum requirements for anyone running for the office of the president.
The current Section of the Constitution states that the person must have “been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.
Section 131 (d) is now rephrased to read: “He has been educated up to at least HND level or’ its equivalent.”
For House of Assembly, the Bill seeks the alteration of section 106 (c) of the Constitution.
According to the existing law, anyone aspiring to be a member of the House of Assembly must have “been educated up to at least the school certificate level or its equivalent.”
Section 106 (c) is now rephrased to read: “If he has been educated up to National diploma level or its equivalent.”
For governors, the same thing applies. The Bill seeks the alteration of section 177 (d) of the Constitution.
As it is currently, the Section states that the person must be educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.
Section 177 (d) is now rephrased to read: “If he has been educated up to at least Higher National Diploma Level or its equivalent.”
Until the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan set up a Constitution Review Committee, the Bill may not be read for the second time since there is no substantive panel to handle it.