The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday disclosed that lawmakers will soon engage the Presidency on why President Muhammadu Buhari declined ascent to 19 Constitution Amendment Bills.
Buhari had signed 16 Constitution Amendment Bills into law out of the 35 transmitted for assent by the National Assembly.
At the resumption of plenary session on Tuesday, Lawan announced that the upper legislative chamber will engage the Presidency to know reason President Buhari declined assent to the 19 Constitution Amendment Bills.
Senator Lawan commended President Buhari for assenting to the 16 constitution review bills, particularly the bills to guarantee the independence of state legislatures and judiciary.
Senator Lawan however said the Senate would engage with the Presidency to understand why the remaining 19 bills were not assented to.
Lawan said: “President Buhari assented to 16 bills out of the 35 the National Assembly worked on for the constitutional amendment and of course our State Houses of assembly also worked on them.
“The President did not assent to 19 and that makes the balance of 35.
“While I’m talking about these bills now is because of what we’ve been able to achieve in the 9th National Assembly and there are so many important developments by signing those bills and of course we also believe that those bills that have not been assented to.
“The fifth alteration No 6 which deals with financial independence of State Houses of Assembly and State Judiciary are very critical for the development of democracy in Nigerian and for good governance also.
“I believe that the President acted very wisely on this by signing the bill because just like we have financial independence here at the national level, our state legislatures should enjoy similar independence so that they are cut off from the schemes of the legislatures in the states to the executive arm in their various states and of course when the judiciary does not enjoy financial independence, you can imagine what will happen.
“We believe that the state judiciary should be financially independent just like the federal judiciary is because it gives them that power, that authority that without fear or favour, they can make their judgement and conduct their affairs.
“For the 19 Bills that the President did not assent to, I believe that there is need for us to do further engagement between the National Assembly and the Executive arm of government.
“Our Constitution Review Committee should engage the executive arm of government so that we go through the items in those bills that have not been assented to.
“What are the issues?
“Are those issues, issues we can deal with immediately?
“Because we have put in a lot of resources, a lot time to produce those bills and I believe that maybe there are few explanations that we will make and they will be okay and we will do that almost immediately because time is of essence.
“Where the issues are too much to handle, I think the 10th National Assembly should be able to attend to such issues.
“I commend the 9th National Assembly for working assiduously for Nigerians.”