Know Your Constitution: Part 1

Know Your Constitution

The 1999 Constitution

SECTION 9 (1)

The National Assembly may, subject to the provision of this section, alter any of the provisions of this Constitution. 

(This simply means that unless the Constitution gives the go-ahead, the National Assembly CANNOT alter any section in this Constitution.)


SECTION 9 (2)

An Act of the National Assembly for the alteration of this Constitution, not being an Act to which section 8 of this Constitution applies, shall not be passed in either House of the National Assembly unless the proposal is supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds majority of all the members of that House and approved by resolution of the Houses of Assembly of not less than two-thirds of all the States. 

(Section 8 of the 1999 Constitution as amended provides the conditions for the creation of a new state within Nigeria. For any Act of the National Assembly to alter the constitution, except the provisions of section 8, the proposal for the Act must be supported by votes of not less than two-thirds majority of the National Assembly and not less than two-thirds of the Houses of Assembly in all the states must pass a resolution of approval.)


SECTION 9 (3)

An Act of the National Assembly for the purpose of altering the provisions of this section, section 8 or Chapter IV of this Constitution shall not be passed by either House of the National Assembly unless the proposal is approved by the votes of not less than four-fifths majority of all the members of each House, and also approved by resolution of the House of Assembly of not less than two-third of all States. 

(For this section, section 8 and Chapter 4 (Fundamental Human Rights) to be altered, an approved proposal by the votes of not less than four-fifths majority of all the members of each House of the National Assembly, and also approved by resolution of the House of Assembly of not less than two-third of all States must be passed.)


SECTION 9 (4)

For the purposes of section 8 of this Constitution and of subsections (2) and (3) of this section, the number of members of each House of the National Assembly shall, notwithstanding any vacancy, be deemed to be the number of members specified in sections 48 and 49 of this Constitution. 

(This section emphasizes on the number of members of the National Assembly

  • Senate: 3 members from each state and 1 member from the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
  • House of Representatives: 360 members representing constituencies of nearly equal population as far as possible, provided that no constituency shall fall within more than one State.)

SECTION 10

The Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion. 

(This means that neither the Federal Government nor the State Government can adopt any religion and declare that religion as the official religion of a state in Nigeria.)

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