Minority Report
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Minority Report

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Chief Solomon Asemota, Chairman of Ethnic Nationalities Movement (ENM) and member of The Patriots, the group of eminent professionals, has reiterated that for the unity of Nigeria and the fact that ...

Chief Solomon Asemota, Chairman of Ethnic Nationalities Movement (ENM) and member of The Patriots, the group of eminent professionals, has reiterated that for the unity of Nigeria and the fact that human beings are more important than geographical locations, Senatorial districts must be the basis for the selection of delegates to the forthcoming National conference.

Asemota, a former member of the erstwhile Presidential Advisory Committee on National Conference, warned that the foundation upon which Nigeria was built - Indirect Rule, Tripod mentality, etc - to provide excuse for assimilating minorities is faulty.

As such, a National Conference after 100 years of amalgamation will provide an opportunity for Nigerians to examine the past and, if honestly done, demonstrate that 1914 is a blessing not a mistake and would help to transform Nigeria from a mere geographical expression to a country which would become a nation and the giant of Africa

In his Minority Report, with attached Draft Bill to the National Assembly sent to President Goodluck Jonathan, a copy of which NigeriaCurrent got, the renowned constitutional lawyer listed the areas he considered critical to the overall success of the national conference which do not only reinforce the unity, stability and progress of the country, but are also in line with Constitutional guarantees which provide for indigenes and non-indigenes alike.

“The proposed National Conference has a specific purpose namely, to discuss and agree on the terms and conditions to be embodied in a new Constitution as the basis on which the diverse Ethnic Nationalities and peoples in Nigeria can live together in peace, security, progress and unity as one country under a common central government,” the Minority Report said. “This is the primal purpose of the proposed National Conference, the crux or pivot of its agenda and to which everything else is ancillary.”

Hence Asemota’s belief that the 389 Ethnic Nationalities at the Senatorial district levels should be the basis for the selection of delegates to the conference because the criterion takes into consideration, ethnic diversity, professions, gender, youth and the physical challenges spread across all the zones or region by way of consultations.

“One believes that this is one of the processes of inclusion in the politics of the nation as opposed to assimilation and exclusion,” he said.

Unlike government functionaries who say the country’s unity is non-negotiable, the report warned: “Nigerian unity is not only negotiable, but must indeed be re-negotiated for it to stand or survive the test of time. The reality over the years remains that in spite of the best efforts of all our leaders past or present, Nigerian unity is not guaranteed. It is simply, at best, an aspiration and not yet an achievement. Hence, the statement that Nigerian unity is ‘not negotiable’ is simply a historical fallacy,” Asemota insisted.

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    Minority Report Minority Report Document Transcript

    • 1 Minority Report Introduction Twenty five years ago, I was at the International Conference Centre Abuja the same Complex that presently serves as the venue for the sittings of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue. I was then member of the Constitution Review Committee and thereafter also served as a member of the Constituent Assembly. The draft 1989 constitution, the result of our efforts was never passed into law. Since 1989, other committees that adopted identical methods, approaches and recommendations similar to the present Presidential Advisory Committee have also been set up. The fact that the previous conferences had not been successful in providing an acceptable Constitution confirms the need for a new approach to be adopted by this Committee. 2. Terms of Reference The Committee was given the following terms of reference: 1. To consult with all relevant stakeholders with a view to drawing up a feasible agenda for the proposed national dialogue/conference; 2. To make recommendations to Government on structure and modalities for the proposed national dialogue/conference; 3. To make recommendations to Government on how representation of various interest groups at the national dialogue/conference will be determined; 4. To advise Government on a time frame for the national dialogue/conference; 5. To advise Government on a Legal framework for the national dialogue/conference; 6. To advise on legal procedures and options for integrating decisions and outcomes of the national dialogue/conference into the Constitution and laws of the nation; and 7. To advise Government on any other matter that may be related or incidental to the proposed national dialogue. 3. Historical Background In view of the importance of various constitutional conferences that took place in 1954, 1957 and 1958 which resulted in the granting of independence in 1960 as confirmed in the Majority Report, there is need for one to comment on the fears of minorities that led to the setting up of Willink’s Commission. While the constitutional conferences of 1957/58 were taking place, the Willink Commission was appointed in September 1957 with the following terms of references: i. To ascertain the facts about the fears of minorities in any part of Nigeria and to propose means of allaying those fears whether well or ill founded. ii. To advise what safeguards should be included for this purpose in the Constitution of Nigeria. iii. If. but only if, no other solution seems to the Commission to meet the case, then as a last resort to make detailed recommendations for the creation of one or more new States, and in that case :(a) to specify the precise area to be included in such State or States;
    • 2 iv. (b) to recommend the Governmental and administrative structure most appropriate for it. (c) to assess whether any State recommended would be viable from an economic and administrative point of view and what the effect of its creation would be on the Region or Regions from which it would be created and on the Federation. To report its findings and recommendations to the Secretary of State for the Colonies. 4. While the Commission did not recommend the creation of states, the report in my view, contained profound statements which help to explain how and why the mould for the governance of Nigeria was cast. a. The first in the statements is: “Many witnesses have referred to their fears of Fulani-Hausa domination, and though the meaning of this phrase was not always expressed in terms, or even consciously analyzed by those who used it, it clearly implies a system of rule and of society of which an important ingredient is the operation of Muslim Law. Some witnesses have specifically referred to this system of law as an object of fear. Northern Nigeria is peculiar in that there are at work side by side three distinguishably different systems of law; in the first place, Nigerian law based on the Common Law of England as modified by Nigerian and British Statute; Native Law other than Muslim Law; and finally Muslim Law, which in its turn is divided into the strictly Koranic Law known as Shari' a and the law arising from the prerogative of the ruler, which is known as Siyasa. To enquire into the relationship between these different systems in any detail would be a task for a special Commission; neither our terms of reference nor the time available to us would permit such an examination, even if we were competent to undertake it.” Willink’s Report Page 66. This statement (a) above connotes an ideology different from Liberal Democracy. It is the pursuit of this ideology that is in my view responsible for: i. Conflict of ideology whereby corruption, insecurity, evil acts became instrument of the ideological war with operatives (Mukhabarat) dominating public offices and even the private sector; ii. This invisible and shadowy power structure needs to be dismantled in order that we may not unwittingly actualize the prediction that Nigeria may disintegrate in 2015, God forbid; and iii. Proliferation of Traditional Rulers for the wrong reasons in a Democratic country which serves to weaken liberal democracy; b. The other profound statement is by Macpherson as referred to in Willink’s Report. Part of the statement reads: “In conclusion, Sir John Macpherson asked those concerned to remember that the boundary in question was not a boundary between two foreign states but between two Regions (North and West), which are integral parts of a single country, and hoped that there would be no further controversial discussion of
    • 3 this matter.” Willink’s Report Page 76 5. With respect to (b), the Northern boundary has by the conduct of some Northerners of the older generation been elevated to that between two countries and not one regarded as an integral part of one country. One North in One Nigeria is a contradiction. The two factors, combined with the “victory” of “the North over the South” provided the mould that “churns” out the nature of governance that has become cast in iron in the promotion of (a) and the reverse of (b) above. This is responsible for the prevalence of insecurity that has made the promotion of democracy very difficult in Nigeria. An invisible force outside the government was put in place for this purpose. This invisible force is the problem of the country in its pursuit of divergent interests, goals and aspirations different from democracy and rule of law which were agreed by our leaders in the 1957/58 London Conference and also reflected in section 14 of the 1999 Constitution. Indirect Rule is still being rigorously prosecuted, and internal colonialism has been reinvented in present day Nigeria by the same invisible force in order to strengthen its position. This invisible power bloc must be made visible. 6. The Committee members agree that Nigeria requires a change from the past and I associate myself with this position in the Majority Report. An area of disagreement would be the nature and speed of the change. Decisions on Terms of Reference and My Position a. I associate myself completely with the recommendations contained therein in the majority report in Terms of Reference one (1) b. With respect to Terms of Reference (2) I associate myself with members that recommended the construction of the Conference structure on Senatorial basis with some modifications as contained in the Bill in this Minority Report. c. On Terms of Reference (3), I recommend that the President should send a Bill to the National Assembly convening the National Conference. A Draft Bill that provides for a Referendum and other matters is included in this report for the consideration of the President. The attached draft in addition gives the President the power to appoint members on the recommendation of Ethnic Associations in the Country. d. I associate myself with the majority recommendation with respect to Time Frame. e. With respect to legal framework, Terms of Reference No.5 my advice is contained in my explanatory notes below. 7. The Use of Referendum It has been suggested to the Advisory Committee by experts that except for situations as may arise in section 8(1b) and 8(3b) of the 1999 Constitution, referendum defined “as action taken when people in order to make a decision about a particular subject rather than voting for a person”, cannot be used without further amendment to the Constitution. I find it difficult to accept this view point; rather it is my view that referendum can be used without amending the Constitution as I explain in (8) below. 8. Sovereignty I submit belongs to the people under Section 14 (2) of the Constitution and it will be wrong to suggest that the people’s decisions cannot be sought in a
    • 4 referendum except permitted under the Constitution. This suggests that sovereignty belongs to the Constitution and not the people. 9. On whether in the draft bill, it should be stated that decisions of the conference shall be subjected to referendum, some members have suggested that the question of referendum should be left for the conference to decide and thus the law should be silent on it. I find it difficult to align myself with this view because several meanings could be read as to why this aspect was omitted and this will not be helpful to the Conference. 10. One is opposed to universal adult suffrage proposed by the Majority Report notwithstanding the fact that the proposed Conference is intended to produce a democratic Constitution. The fact remains that the committee did not articulate who should nominate the delegates and with the challenges which INEC presently has, it would be unsafe to saddle that body with a nebulous function of electing members to the National Conference. The question of referendum is easy in that Nigerians as a whole, as registered voters, would be called upon to answer a Yes or No question in order to approve a new Constitution. In any case, if the National Assembly refuses to pass the Bill into law, or decides to tinker with the conclusion of the committee, then it behoves the peoples of Nigeria to demand that they must have the final say. 11. Where there are for example more than fifteen Ethnic Nationalities in a State, it is suggested that representatives of the more than fifteen Ethnic Nationalities such as Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Cross River, Kaduna, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau and Taraba would meet to select the maximum approved for the Senatorial District and those selected will have the additional duty to protect the interest of those who could not make it to the Conference. The President may be asked to consider these nationalities while considering his nominations to the Conference specially because while some Ethnic Nationalities will have as many as 45 members in the Conference, some 42 other Ethnic Nationalities will not be represented in some of the states mentioned in this paragraph. The more logical thing to do is to reduce the number of the big three to accommodate some of these nationalities. 12. Ethnicity has defied various negative acts designed to eliminate it such as Indirect Rule (British bluff), tripod mentality i.e. (Nigeria regarded as being built on three Nationalities, Hausa/Fulani, lbo and Yoruba) and the act of promoting violence among Ethnic Nationalities such as the case of Ijaws and Itsekiris. It must be pointed out with respect to Indirect Rule that traditional aristocracy has never been oriented towards the productive aspect of social life; they only emphasize the distributive dimension and promote the use of ethnicity and ethnic conflict to divide minorities in Nigeria. As a man is born into a family so is he born as a member of an ethnic group and this membership is unchangeable unlike citizenship that can be changed at will. Therefore, nobody should plan to wipe out any Ethnic Nationality. 13. Although indirect rule weakened ethnic groups, it also helped to preserve Ethnic Nationalities’ corporate existence. Indirect rule divided the Ethnic Nationalities and helped to weaken their solidarity in order to ensure that they were more effectively subjugated. In spite of this however, in almost all the centres visited, Ethnic Nationalities trooped out to
    • 5 demand that the conference should be Ethnic Nationalities based. No one should deny them this opportunity. 14. I recommend selection because in most Nationalities of Nigeria, selection processes are conducted to choose rulers and representatives and in any case elections in present day Nigeria are fraught with corruption. Members of the same family know themselves, so too members of the larger family (Ethnic Nationalities). Selection by the listed Ethnic organizations in the Draft Bill is preferred. As a result the best of Ethnic Nationalities representatives are most likely to emerge. 15. Originally I had demanded that all Ethnic Nationalities must be represented. Unfortunately for reasons of colonialism and neo-colonialism, Indirect Rule principles of assimilation and the effects of the tripod mentality, the inclusion of ethnicity as part of the requirements for enumeration was dropped in the last National Census in 2006. For the unity of Nigeria and the fact that human beings are more important than geographical locations in addition to the fact that our Constitution provides for indigenes and non indigenes, one has agreed on Senatorial districts as the basis for the selection of delegates. Ethnic Nationalities at the Senatorial district levels should take into consideration, ethnic diversity, professions, gender, youth and the physical challenges spread across the zones or region by way of consultations. One believes that this is one of the processes of inclusion in the politics of the nation as opposed to assimilation and exclusion. It is important that in the next census, Ethnicity and Religion should be included. 16. The suggestion that National Conference is simply part of the process of consultations to aid the Presidency and the National Assembly in the discharge of their functions with respect to the amendment of the Constitution is untenable. The proposed National Conference has a specific purpose, namely, to discuss and agree on the terms and conditions to be embodied in a new Constitution as the basis on which the diverse Ethnic Nationalities and peoples in Nigeria can live together in peace, security, progress, and unity as one country under a common central government. This is the primal purpose of the proposed National Conference, the crux or pivot of its agenda, and to which everything else is ancillary. 17. The long title of the proposed Bill describes is, A Bill for an Act to make provisions for Convening a National Conference of the Peoples of Nigeria for the Purpose of Discussing and Adopting a new Constitution to be Submitted for Consideration and Approval by the People of Nigeria at a Referendum and Matters Incidental Thereto.” The long title thus provides a clear enough description of the character of the Conference proposed. This is reaffirmed by a declaration in a preamble that the proposed Conference is a Conference of the nationalities and ethnic groups comprised in this Nation so as to give them the opportunity to exercise their inherent right to determine democratically for themselves the Constitution by which they wish to be governed in one united Nigeria The preamble further declares that the need for the Conference arises from the fact that the Constitution under which the country is governed came into existence as a result of a Decree enacted by the Federal Military Government.
    • 6 18. The Bill spells out the machinery and process for the selection or election of delegates, quorum at the Conference, conduct of proceedings, method of taking decisions, oath by delegates, appointment of Conference Secretary and other support staff, laying before the National Assembly of draft Constitution passed by the Conference, publication and presentation of the draft to the public, and the process for holding a Referendum for the approval of the Constitution by the entire mass of the people, which is to bestow legally binding force upon it. 19. A Referendum of the people to approve the Constitution is the most fundamental aspect of the whole process. It is no doubt a novel process in the country but that is what is legitimately due to the Nigerian people- an opportunity, for the first time since the creation of the Nigerian state in 1914, to adopt, through referendum, a Constitution by and for themselves in exercise of the constituent power inherent in them as a sovereign people, not just to make an input in the amendment of an imposed Constitution. 20. Given an existing legal order, constituted by a Constitution, the principle of the Rule of Law, by a Legislative Assembly, a presidency, a judiciary and other instrumentalities of government, such as we have in Nigeria, a National Conference to adopt a peoples Constitution, and a referendum to approve the Constitution so adopted, must be authorized by a law enacted by the National Assembly and assented to by the president, in the terms set out in the attached Bill. There is no way a referendum can be held in the country under the existing legal order without an enabling law prescribing how it is to be conducted, its outcome and the force of the result in law. People cannot just troop out to vote in a referendum. Anything else outside the legal framework set out in my draft Bill can only take place by way of a revolution, such as happened in the eight African countries where the Conference took place outside the pre-existing legal order. 21. The Committee’s decision to the effect that a constitution adopted at the National Conference shall not be subject to any change or amendment by the National Assembly or the presidency (section 21(1)), and that the constitution, so adopted, shall become law and be binding on all persons and authorities immediately it is approved at a Referendum (section 22(8)), do not make the Conference a sovereign body, in the strict sense of the term, inasmuch as the finality of its decisions and legally binding force of the approval of its decisions by the Referendum derive from a law enacted by the sovereign legislative authorities under the country’s existing legal order. 22. But refusal by the national Assembly or the presidency to enact into law, the provisions in sections 21(1) and 22(8) of the Bill, or to abide by them after their enactment into law will provide an opportunity to test the ability of the Nigerian people, in spite of the impediments, to assert and demonstrate their power and supremacy as the repository of the country’s sovereignty and the source of the sovereign power exercised by the legislative and executive organs of government. 23. Nigerian unity is not only negotiable but must indeed be re-negotiated for it to stand or survive the test of time. The reality over the years remains that in spite of the best efforts of all our leaders past or present, Nigerian unity is not guaranteed. It is simply, at best, an
    • 7 aspiration and not yet an achievement. Hence, the statement that Nigerian unity is “not negotiable’ is simply a historical fallacy. 24. Many Nigerians are losing the dream of a united Nigeria because of the obstinate resistance of a few to any idea of reform or restructure of the country. This indeed is dangerous to Nigeria’s survival as one nation. However, history teaches us that those who make reforms impossible make revolution inevitable. Many Nigerians love their country, but forced to choose, they would choose their liberty/freedom. Conclusion In the quotation in paragraph 4 above, Sir Henry Willink [QC] concluded that “To enquire into the relationship between these different systems in any detail would be a task for a special commission; neither our terms of reference nor the time available to us would permit such an examination even if we were competent to undertake it”. This task was undertaken by a Senior Advocate [QC] and the observations and recommendations contained in this Minority Report is the result of such investigation and research. The foundation upon which Nigeria was built, Indirect Rule, Tripod mentality etc to provide excuse for assimilating minorities is faulty. A National Conference after 100 years of amalgamation will provide an opportunity for Nigerians to examine the past and if this is honestly done it will become very clear that 1914 is a blessing not a mistake and Nigeria transformed from a geographical expression to a country would become a nation and the giant of Africa. I thank my colleagues and Mr. President for this opportunity given to me to write this Minority Report. Solomon Asemota Esq. SAN Abuja Nov. 2013
    • 8 DRAFT BILL A BILL FOR AN ACT TO MAKE PROVISION FOR CONVENING A NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE PEOPLES OF NIGERIA FOR THE PURPOSE OF DISCUSSING AND ADOPTING A NEW CONSTITUTION TO BE SUBMITTED FOR CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL AT A REFERENDUM AND MATTERS INCIDENTALTHERETO PART 1 WHEREAS the people of Nigeria are being governed in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. AND WHEREAS the said Constitution came into existence as a Schedule to a Decree enacted by the then Federal Military Government, Decree 24 of 1999 AND WHEREAS following elections to the Office of President, Vice President and to the Senate and House of Representatives for the Federation and to the Office of Governor, Deputy Governor and House of Assembly for each of the States there developed a general clamour for convening a Conference of the Nationalities, ethnic groups, civil society groups and individuals comprised in this Nation so as to give them the opportunity to exercise their inherent right to determine democratically for themselves the Constitution by which they wish to be governed in one united Nigeria as the supreme law of the land binding on all organs of government and on all authorities and individuals in the country AND WHEREAS the National Assembly considers it necessary and expedient for the peace, order and good government of Nigeria to make provision to facilitate the convening of the aforesaid Conference and the holding of a Referendum NOW THEREFORE THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HEREBY ENACTS AS FOLLOWS: Short title 1. This Act may be cited as the National Conference and Referendum Act and shall come into force on the date of its publication in the Gazette. Interpret- 2. tation In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires: “National Conference” means the body of persons established in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
    • 9 “President” Means President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “public service of the Federation” or “public service of a State” has the meaning assigned to those expressions in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 Ethnic nationalities means: The peoples of Nigeria consist of a social groups, with self perpetuating biological group sharing the same culture symbols, language value system custom normative behavior and who members are anchored in a particular part of Nigeria homeland and/or safe haven. “State” or “States” refer to the territory or territories described as such in Part 1 of the First Schedule to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, and include the government in control of such territory or territories “Sub Zone” refers to any of the group of Local Governments listed in Schedule 2 of this Act as sub Zone 1 or sub Zone 2 “Zone” and cognate expressions refer to any of the six groups of States mentioned in section 4 of this Act. Ethnic nationality OfNigeriaschedule 3.There are 389 identifiable Ethnic Nationality in Nigeria. Ethnic nationalities means: The peoples of Nigeria consist of a social groups, with self perpetuating biological group sharing the same culture symbols, language value system custom normative behavior and who members are anchored in a particular part of Nigeria homeland and/or safe haven The six zones Schedule 1 4.(1) For the purposes of this Act, there shall be six Zones in Nigeria, that is to say, North Central, North East, North West, South East, South South and South West, with Headquarters at Jos, Maiduguri, Kaduna, Enugu, Port-Harcourt and Ibadan respectively. (2) Each Zone of Nigeria shall comprise the group of States shown in the Table in Schedule 2 to this Act Establishment Etc of Zonal Council 5. (1) There is here established – (a) In respect of each of the South East, South West and South South Zones, a Zonal Council; and
    • 10 (b) in respect of the North Central, North East, North West Zones, two sub Zonal Councils each. SCHEDULE 3 (2) The two sub Zones (to be known as sub Zone 1 and sub Zone 2) in the North Central, North East and the North West shall comprise the States shown in Schedule 3 to this Act. (3) A Zonal Council or sub Zonal Council shall consist of five members from each of the Senatorial District and the total numbers of delegated at the National Conference shall not exceed seven hundred. (4) One hundred and fifty five delegates remaining delegated shall be appointed by the President taking into consideration the Ethnic Nationalities that have no delegates from their Zones or sub Zones, gender, youth and the physically challenged. (6)(a) The members of a Zonal Council or a sub Zonal Council (as the case may require) shall be appointed by the President on the nomination of Afenifere, Yoruba Elders Forum and other recognized Yoruba organizations (in respect of the South West), Ohanaeze and other recognized Ibo organizations (in respect of the South East), Conference of Ethnic Nationalities of the Niger-Delta and other recognized organizations (in respect of the South-South), Arewa Consultative Forum, Northern Elders Forum and other recognized organizations in the zone (in respect of the States comprising Sub Zone 1) and the Middle-Belt Forum, Middle Belt Elders Forum and other recognized organizations (in respect of the States comprising Sub Zone 2) in each of the North Central, North East and North West. (b) The Chairman of a Zonal Council or sub Zonal Council shall be elected by that Council from among its members. (c) A meeting of a Zonal Council or sub Zonal Council for the purpose of electing the Chairman of that Council shall be convened and presided over by a person to be nominated by the same body of persons that nominated the Zonal Council or sub Zonal Council concerned and the date, time and venue of such meeting shall be notified to every member of the Council. (7) If the President fails to appoint a member of the Zonal Council or sub Zonal Council pursuant to the provisions of subsection (5) of this section, within 30 days of the nomination being communicated to him, the person so nominated shall be deemed to have been duly appointed.
    • 11 (8) A person shall cease to hold office as Chairman or member of Zonal Council or sub Zonal Council if: (a) He becomes of unsound mind; or (b) He becomes bankrupt or makes a composition with his creditors; or (c) He is convicted of a felony or any offence involving dishonesty; or (d) He is guilty of serious misconduct in relation to his duties; or (e) He accepts office as a public officer in the public service of the Federation or in the public service of a State. Schedule 4 (9) The provisions contained in Schedule 3 to this Act shall have effect with respect to the proceedings of a Zonal Council or a sub Zonal Council and to other matters as therein contained. 10. Subject to the provisions of this Act, a Zonal Council or sub Zonal Council shall have powers for organizing and conducting the election of the persons who are to serve as delegates to the National Conference from that Zone or sub Zone. For this purpose the Zonal Council shall have powers subject to section 9 to employ the existing machinery of INEC for organizing the election. 11.(1) A person shall not be qualified to be elected as a delegate to the National Conference if he is currently employed in the public service of the Federation or in the public service of a State. (2) A person may be elected as a delegate to the National Conference, notwithstanding the fact that he is a member of a Zonal Council or sub Zonal Council. (3) In the election of delegates to the National Conference, a Zonal Council or sub Zonal Council shall ensure that as far as practicable, ethnic groups or nationalities indigenous to the Zone and shades of political opinion in the area for which it is established are fairly represented and further that the delegates include persons who by reason of their academic background, experience in or knowledge of the affairs of the country or
    • 12 membership of important interest groups can contribute meaningfully to the deliberations at the National Conference. (4) Notwithstanding the provision of subsection (3) of this section, a Zonal Council or sub Zonal Council may co-opt any person as a delegate to represent the Zone, including a person from outside the Zone or sub Zone including a person from the Zone or sub Zone, delegates shall not exceed the number prescribed by section 5(4) of this Act. (5) Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, the delegates shall be chosen by election. (6) A person shall not be elected as a delegate to the National Conference, or if elected shall cease to be a member if any of the events mentioned in subsection (8) of section 6 of this Act (which would disqualify him as Chairman or member of a Zonal Council or sub Zonal) occurs in relation to him. (8) Any vacancy occurring among the delegates to the National Conference shall be filled by election organized and conducted by the appropriate Zonal Council in accordance with the provisions of this Act. 12. (1) There shall be for the purposes of this Act, a National Conference which shall, subject to this Act, have full powers to deliberate upon and adopt a Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria as well as other matters relating to the unity, welfare and good government of the country. (2) (3) 13. For the purpose of a sub section 1 above, A draft new constitution prepared by a committee of experts and members of the presidential advisory committee on national Conference appointed for that purpose by the President shall be laid before the Conference and form the basis of its deliberation and decision. The National Conference shall be convened by the President within 60 days after this Act comes into force. The National Conference shall consist of members elected or selected from the Ethnic Nationalities listed in the schedule I represented by one delegate each at the Conference or by the number of delegates assigned to the Zone to which it belongs.
    • 13 14. (1) There shall be one representative for each of the organizations listed in schedule II annexed hereto 15.(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, a person shall be qualified for election or selection as a member of the National Conference if he is a citizen of Nigeria and is not less than eighteen years old. (2) 16. 17. A person shall not be qualified for membership of the National Conference if(a) He is of unsound mind; or (b) He is bankrupt or makes a composition with his creditors; or (c) He is convicted of a felony or any offence involving dishonesty; or (d) He is found guilty of serious misconduct in relation to his public duties; or (e) He is a member of the Armed Forces or the Nigeria Police Force or a member of the public service of the Federation or of a State within the meaning of the Constitution, or a member of the staff of any Local Government, unless he has resigned his office not less than thirty days before his election or selection. Subject to this Act, the proceedings of the National Conference shall be conducted in accordance with the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives with such modifications as may be approved by the Chairman of the National Conference and, subject to such modifications, the Standing Orders shall be deemed to be the Standing Orders of the National Conference. Subject to the provisions of this Act every member of the National Conference shall have one vote. (2) The quorum of the National Conference for the purpose of transacting any business other than adjournment shall be not less than one third of the entire membership. Provided that no proceedings of the National Conference shall be rendered invalid under this section unless objection is taken by a member present other than the person presiding that there are fewer members present at the meeting than the prescribed quorum.
    • 14 (3) (a) The person presiding at a meeting of the National Conference shall use his best endeavour to see that decisions are arrived at by consensus among those present at the meeting. (b) Upon failure to arrive at a consensus, any question proposed for decision shall be regarded as the decision of the Conference if it is supported by the votes of a majority of two thirds of the members present and voting or in default of such majority by the votes of not less than four zones. (c) For the purpose of sub paragraph (b) of this section a Zone (whether or not it is divided into sub zones) shall be deemed to have arrived at a decision by the votes of a simple majority of the total number of delegates from that Zone. 18. Every member of the National Conference shall before taking his seat in the Conference take and subscribe before the Conference, the oath of allegiance prescribed by the 1999 Constitution for members of the National Assembly, which for the purposes of this section may be modified in such manner as may be approved by the Chief Justice of Nigeria so however that any member may instead of the oath make the appropriate affirmation as provided by law. 19.(1) There shall be established a National Conference Secretariat with a Secretary to be appointed by the Conference and who shall not be a member of the Public Service of the Federation or of a State and who shall be paid such remuneration and allowances as may be determined by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) (2) There shall also be appointed such number of supporting staff as may be required to assist the Secretary in the performance of his duties. 20. There shall be paid to the Chairman, Deputy Chairman and Members of the National Conference such allowances as the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission may approve. 21.(1) The Chairman and Secretary of the National Conference shall certify the Draft Constitution as passed by the National Conference and lodge authenticated copies thereof with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives who shall cause it to be laid before the appropriate House but
    • 15 the said Draft Constitution shall not be subject to any change or amendment by any of these authorities. (2) The Government Printer shall print or cause to be printed sufficient copies of the Draft Constitution for sale at cost to any member of the public who wishes to purchase the same. 22. (1) A referendum shall be held on the question whether the Draft Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria adopted and passed by the National Conference is acceptable to the people of Nigeria. (2) The question to be asked in the referendum, and the ballot paper to be used for that purpose, shall be in the form set out in Schedule 5 to this Act, but so that the YES ballot papers shall be in green column whilst the NO ballot papers shall be in RED. (3) The Independent National Electoral Commission shall be responsible for organizing and conducting the referendum and for giving the widest possible publicity to the method for voting YES or NO. (4) The persons entitled to vote in the referendum shall be those whose names are on the Register of Voters for purposes of election of members of the National Assembly. (5) The ballot shall be open and the Independent National Electoral Commission shall make regulations for the purpose of ensuring the proper conduct thereof and that no person votes more than once. (6) The regulations made pursuant to the provisions of this Section may impose penalties for contravention. (7) All regulations made as aforementioned shall be laid on the Table of the National Assembly and published in the Federal Gazette. (8) Subject to the provisions of subsection 9 of this section, the Draft Constitution for the Federal Republic of Nigeria adopted and passed by the National Conference shall become law and be binding on all persons and authorities when and if there is a majority of ‘Yes’ votes approving it but shall not come into force before the expiration of the term of office of the
    • 16 President, Vice President, the legislative Houses under the present Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. (9) A majority of ‘Yes’ votes for the purposes of this section means(a) two thirds majority of the votes cast at the referendum or (b) a simple majority of votes in each of not less than two thirds of all six zones mentioned in section 4 of this Act. PART 11 FINANCIAL PROVISIONS Funds of the Conference 1. The secretariat of the Conference shall establish and maintain a fund for the conference into which shall be paid all monies(a) Appropriated to it by the Federal Government (b) From any other source; (c) As may from time to time accrue to it. 2. the – The Fund established pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall be applied for (a) Day to Day administration of the conference; and (b) Payment of expenses and other allowances to members and secretariat staff of the Conference
    • 17 SCHEDULE 1 Nigeria’s 389 Ethnic Groups at a glance Name of Ethnic Group Abanyom Abua (Odual) Achipa (Achipawa Derne) Adim Adara (Kadara) Adun Affade Aeogworo (KAGORO) Afizere Afo Aho Akaju-Ndem (Akajuk) Akweya-Yachi Alago (Arago) Amo Anaguta Anang Andoni Angas Ankwei Attakar (Ataka) Atyap (Kataf) Auyoka (Auyokawa) Awori Ayu Babur Bachama Bacheve Bada Bade Bahumono Bakulung Bali Bambara (Bambarawa) Bambuka (Bamkuba) Banda (Bandawa) Bangawa Bankal (Bankalawa) Banso (Panso) Bara (Barawa, Badara) Barke Location (By States) Cross River Rivers Kebbi Cross Rivers Kaduna Cross Rivers Borno Kaduna Plateau Nasarawa Nasarawa Cross River Benue Nasarawa Plateau Plateau Akwa Ibom Akwa Ibom, Rivers Bauchi, Plateau Plateau Kaduna Kaduna Jigawa Lagos kaduna Borno, Adamawa Adamawa Cross River Plateau Yobe Cross River Taraba Taraba Bauchi Taraba Taraba Kebbi Bauchi Taraba Bauchi Bauchi
    • 18 Baruba (Barba) Niger Bashiri (Bashirawa) Plateau Bassa Kogi, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Niger, FCT Batta Adamawa Baushi Niger Baya Adamawa Bekwara Cross River Bele (Belewa) Bauchi Betso (Bete) Taraba Bette Cross River Bilei Adamawa Bille Adamawa Billa (Binawa) Kaduna Bini Edo Birom Plateau Bobua Adamawa Boki (Nki) Cross River Bokkos Plateau Boko (Bussawa, Borgawa) Bauchi Bole (Bolewa) Gombe, Yobe Bollere Adamawa Boma (Bomawa), Burmano)Bauchi Bomboro Bauchi Buduma Borno, Niger Buji Plateau Buli Bauchi Bunu (Kabba) Kogi, Kwara Bura Adamawa Burak Gombe Burma (Bumawa) Plateau Buru Yobe, Borno Buta (Butawa) Gombe Bwall Plateau Bwanye (Bwatiye) Adamawa Bwazza Adamawa Challa Plateau Cham (Chamawa Fitilai) Gombe Chamba (Samba) Adamawa, Taraba Chamo Gombe Chibok (Chibbak) Borno Chinine Borno Chip Plateau Chokobo Plateau. Chukkol Adamawa Daba Adamawa Dadiya Gombe Daka Taraba
    • 19 Dakarkari Danda (Dandawa) Dangsa Daza (Dere, Derewa) Degema Deno (Denawa) . Dghwede (Dghuede) Diba Doemak (Dumuk) Duguri Duka (Dukawa, Hunnu) Ebana (Ebani) Ebirra (Igbirra) Ebu Efik Egbema Egede (Igedde) Eggon Egun (Gu) Ejagham Ekajuk Eket Ekoi Engenni (Ngene) Enyima Epie Esan (Ishan) Etche Etolu (Etilo) Etsako Etung Etuno Fakkawa (Paeknu) Falli Fantsuam (Kafanchan) Fulbe (Fulani) Fyam (Fyem) Fyer (Fer) Ga,anda Gade Galambi Gamargu-Mulgwa Ganagana Ganawuri Gavoko (Govoko) Gbari (Gbengi) Gbedde Niger Kebbi Adamawa Bauchi Rivers Bauchi Borno Adamawa Plateau Bauchi Kebbi Rivers Kogi, Ondo, Nasarawa Edo Cross River Rivers Benue Nasarawa Lagos Cross River Cross River Akwa Ibom Cross River Bayelsa Cross River Bayelsa Edo Rivers Benue Edo Cross River Edo Kebbi Adamawa Kaduna Northern States Plateau Plateau Adamawa Niger, Nasarawa Bauchi Borno Kogi Plateau Borno Kogi Kogi
    • 20 Gelawa Gengle Geji Gera (Gere, Gerawa) Gerka (Gerkawa) Geruma (Gerumawa) Gingwak Gira Gizigz (Gizga) Gobirawa Goemai Gombi Gomun (Gumun) Gongola (Gongla) Gubi (Gubawa) Gude Gudu Gungwa (Reshe) Gure Gurmana Gurumtum Gusu (Gusawa) Gwa (Gurawa) Gwamba· Gwandara Gwari (Gbari) Gwom Gwoza (Waha) Gyem Hausa Higi (Higgi) Holma Hona (Hwana) lbeno lbibio lchen ldoma Igala Igbo ljumu Ikom Ikwere lrigwe lsoko lsekiri (Itsekiri) Iyala (Iyalla) Izon (Ijo) Kebbi Adamawa Bauchi Bauchi Plateau Bauchi Bauchi Adamawa Adamawa Sokoto Plateau Adamawa Taraba Adamawa Bauchi Adamawa Adamawa Kebbi Kaduna Niger Bauchi Plateau Bauchi Adamawa Kaduna, Nasarawa, FCT Kaduna, Niger. FCT, Nasarawa Taraba Borno Bauchi Northern States Borno, Adamawa Adamawa Adamawa Akwa Ibom Akwa Ibom Taraba Benue, Adamawa Kogi Delta, Cross River and eastern states Kogi, Kwara Cross River Rivers Plateau Delta, Bayelsa Delta Cross River Delta, Ondo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo
    • 21 Jaba Kaduna Jahuna (Jahunawa) Taraba Jaku Bauchi lara (Jaar Jarawa Jarawa-Dutse) Borno, Plateau, Bauchi Jere (Jare, Jera, Jerawa) Bauchi, Plateau Jero Taraba Jibu Taraba Jidda-Abu Nasarawa Jimbin (Jimbinawa) Bauchi Jirai Adamawa Jonjo (Jenjo) Taraba Jukun Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Gombe Kaba (Kabawa) Taraba Kadara Niger Kaje (Kache) Kaduna Kajuru (Kajurawa) Kaduna Kaka Taraba Kamaku (Kamukawa) Kaduna Kambari (Kambariwa) Niger, Kebbi Kambu Taraba Kamo Gombe Kamukawa (Katsinawa, Laka) Kebbi Kanakuru (Dera) Borno,Adamawa Kanembu Borno Kanikon Kaduna Kantana Nasarawa Kanufi Kaduna Kanuri Borno, Taraba, Jigawa, Yobe, Nasarawa Karekare (Karaikarari) Bauchi, Yobe Karimjo Taraba Kariya Bauchi Kelawa Kebbi Kenem (Koenoem) Plateau Kenga (Kyenga, Kyengawa) Kebbi Kenton Taraba Kiballo (Kiwollo) Kaduna Kilba Adamawa Kirfi (Kirfawa) Bauchi Koma Adamawa Kona Adamawa Koro (Kwaro) Kaduna, Niger Kubi (Kubawa) Bauchi Kudachano (Kudawa) Bauchi Kugarna Adamawa Kulere (Kalere) Plateau Kunini Taraba Kurama Kaduna, Plateau
    • 22 Kurdul Adamawa Kushi Bauchi Kuteb Taraba Kutin Adamawa Kwalla Plateau Kwami (Kwom) Gombe Kwanchi Taraba Kwanka (Kwankawa) Bauchi, Plateau Kwato Nasarawa Kyenga (Kengawa, Kenga) Kebbi Laaru (Larawa) Niger Lakka Adamawa Lala Adamawa Lama Adamawa Lamja Adamawa Lau Taraba Libbo Adamawa Limoro (Limaro) Bauchi, Plateau Lopa (Iupa, Lopawa) Niger, Kebbi Longunda (Lunguda) Gombe, Adamawa Mabo Plateau Mada Kaduna, Nasarawa Maguzawa Zamfara Mama Nasarawa Mambilla Taraba Manchok Kaduna Mandara (Wandala) Borno Manga (Mangawa) Yobe Margi (Marghi) Borno, Adamawa Matakam Adamawa Mbembe Cross River, Ebonyi Mbol Adamawa Mbube Cross River Mbula Adamawa Mbum Adamawa Mernyang (Meryan) Plateau Miango Plateau Miligili (Migili) Nasarawa Miya (Miyawa) Bauchi Mobber Borno Montol Plateau Moruwa (Moro'a; Morwa) Kaduna Muchalla Adamawa Mumuye Adamawa, Taraba Mundang Adamawa Munga Taraba Mupun (Mupung) Plateau
    • 23 Mushere Nasarawa, Plateau Mwahavul (Mwaghavul) Plateau Ndoro Adamawa, Taraba Ngamo Bauchi, Yobe Ngizim Yobe Ngweshe (NgosheNdhang) Borno, Adamawa Nindare Nasarawa Ningi (Ningawa) Bauchi Ninzam (Ninzo) Kaduna, Nasarawa Njayi (Nzanyi) Adamawa Nkim Cross River Nkum Cross River Nokere (Nakere) Nasarawa Nufawa Kebbi Nunku Kaduna, Nasarawa Nupe Niger, Kogi Nyandang Taraba, Adamawa Ododop Cross River Ogoni Rivers Ogori Kogi Okobo (Okkobor) Akwa Ibom Okpamheri Edo Olulumo Cross River Oron Akwa Ibom Owan Edo Owe Kogi Oworo Kogi Pa'a (Pa'awa, Afawa) Bauchi Pai Plateau Panyam Taraba Pero Gombe Pire (Pere) Adamawa Pkanzom Taraba Poli Adamawa Polchi Habe Bauchi Pongo (Pongu) Niger Potopo Adamawa Pyapun (Piapung) Plateau Qua Cross Rjver Rebina (Rebinawa) Bauchi Reshe (Gungawa) Kebbi, Niger Rindire (Rendre) Nasarawa Rishuwa Kaduna Ron Plateau Rubu Niger Rukuba Plateau Rumada Kaduna
    • 24 Rumaya Sakbe Sakkwatawa Sanga Sarkawa Sate Saya (Sayawa Za'ar) Segidi (Sigidawa) Shanga (Shangawa) Shagawu (Shagau) Shan-Shan Shira (Shirawa) Shomo Shuwa Sikdi Siri (Sirawa) Srubu (Surubu) Sukur Sura Tangale Tarok Teme Tera (Terawa) Teshena (Teshenawa) Tigon Tikar Tiv Tula Tur Ufia Ukelle Ukwani (Kwale) Uncinda Uneme (lneme) Urhobo Utonkong Uyanga Vemgo Verre Vomni Wagga Waja Waka Warja (Warjawa) Warji Wula Wula-Matakam Kaduna Adamawa Sokoto Bauchi Kebbi Adamawa Bauchi Bauchi Kebbi Plateau Plateau Bauchi Taraba Borno, Adamawa.Yobe Plateau Bauchi Kaduna Adamawa Plateau Gombe Plateau, Adamawa Adamawa Borno, Gombe Bauchi Taraba Adamawa Benue, Taraba, Nasarawa Gombe Adamawa Benue Cross River Delta Kaduna, Niger, Kebbi Edo Delta Benue Cross River Adamawa Adamawa Adamawa Adamawa Adamawa, Gombe Adamawa Jigawa Bauchi Adamawa Borno
    • 25 Wurbo Adamawa Wurkun Taraba Yache Cross River Yahe Cross River Yagba Kogi Yakurr (Yako) Cross River Yalla Benue Yandang Adamawa, Taraba Yergan (Yergum) Plateau Yoruba Kwara and Western states Yotti Adamawa Yumu Niger Yungur Adamawa Yuom Plateau Zabarma (Zarma, Zabarmawa) Niger, Kebbi Zamfarawa Zamfara Zaranda Bauchi Zayam (Zeem) Bauchi Zul (Zulawa) Bauchi Source: Onigu Otite – Ethnic Pluralism Ethnicity and Ethnic Conflicts in Nigeria 2nd Edition 2000 All nationalities shall be entitled to their traditional ruler if they have one, to protect the culture, traditions and language in accordance with the law. All Ethnic Nationalities that make up Nigeria shall be included in the Constitution (we the people of Nigeria) not local governments.
    • 26 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. Ethnic Nationalities Location (By States) Abia Adamawa Akwa Ibom Anambra Bauchi Bayelsa Benue Borno Cross River Delta Ebonyi Edo Ekiti Enugu Gombe Imo Jigawa Kaduna Kano Katsina Kebbi Kogi Kwara Lagos Nasarawa Niger Ogun Ondo Osun Oyo Plateau Rivers Sokoto Taraba Yobe Zamfara FCT – Abuja Number of Ethnic Group 78 7 50 4 9 21 30 6 1 9 15 3 30 19 14 2 2 23 20 2 49 9 2 37 9 2 3 Spread     Fulbe (Fulani) Ethnic Group Hausa Igbo Yoruba - Northern States Northern States Delta Cross River and Eastern States Kwara and Western States
    • 27 SCHEDULE 2 Section 3 THE SIX ZONES OF NIGERIA ZONE (a) NORTH CENTRAL HEADQUARTERS Jos (b) NORTH EAST Maiduguri (c) NORTH WEST Kaduna (d) SOUTH EAST Enugu (e) SOUTH SOUTH Port-Harcourt (f) SOUTH WEST Ibadan CONSTITUENT STATES 1. Kwara 2. Kogi 3. Plateau 4. Nasarawa 5. Benue 6. Niger 1. Borno 2. Yobe 3. Bauchi 4. Gombe 5. Taraba 6. Adamawa 1. Sokoto 2. Zamfara 3. Kebbi 4. Kaduna 5. Katsina 6. Kano 7. Jigawa 1. Anambra 2. Enugu 3. Ebonyi 4. Imo 5. Abia 1. Edo 2. Delta 3. Rivers 4. Bayelsa 5. Cross River 6. Akwa Ibom 1. Lagos 2. Ogun 3. Oyo 4. Osun 5. Ondo 6. Ekiti
    • 28 SCHEDULE 3 Section 4(4)(a) NORTH CENTRAL ZONE Sub Zone 1 States from which the appropriate organisations mentioned in section 4(4)(a) are to nominate members to the Zonal Council: 1. Nassarawa 2. Niger Sub Zone 2 States from which the appropriate organisations mentioned in section 4(4)(a) are to nominate members to the Zonal Council: 1. Plateau 2. Nassarawa 4. Kogi 5. Kwara 3. Benue 6. Niger 7. Federal Capital Territory NORTH EAST ZONE Sub Zone 1 States from which the appropriate organisations mentioned in section 4(4)(a) are to nominate members to the zonal Council 1. Bauchi 2. Borno 3. Gombe 4. Yobe Sub Zone 2 States from which the appropriate organisations mentioned in section 4(4)(a) are to nominate members to the Zonal Council 1. Adamawa 2. Bauchi 3. Borno 4. Gombe 6. Yobe 5. Taraba NORTH WEST ZONE Sub Zone 1 States from which the appropriate organisations mentioned in section 4(4)(a) are to nominate members to the Zonal Council: 1. Sokoto 2. Zamfara 3. Kebbi 4. Kaduna 5. Katsina 6. Kano 7. Jigawa Sub Zone 2 States from which the appropriate organisations mentioned in section 4(4)(a) are to nominate members to the Zonal Council: 1. Kaduna 2. Kebbi 3. Jigawa
    • 29 SCHEDULE 4 Section 4(9) PROCEEDINGS OF A ZONAL COUNCIL OR A SUB ZONAL COUNCIL 1.(1) Subject to this Act a Zonal Council may make standing orders regulating its proceedings or those of any of its committees. (2) The quorum of a Zonal Council shall be ten members and the quorum of any committee appointed by it shall be determined by the Zonal Council. 2.(1) A Zonal Council shall meet whenever it is summoned by the Chairman; and if the Chairman is required to do so by notice given to him by not less than ten other members, he shall summon a meeting of the Zonal Council to be held within fourteen days from the date of which the notice is given. (2) At any meeting of the Zonal Council the Chairman shall preside but if he is absent, the members present at the meeting shall appoint one of their numbers to preside at that meeting. (3) Where the Zonal Council desires to obtain the advice of any person on a particular matter, the Council may co-opt him for such period as it thinks fit; but a person who is in attendance by virtue of this sub-paragraph shall not be entitled to vote at any meeting of the Zonal Council and shall not count towards a quorum. 3. The validity of any proceeding of a Zonal Council or of a committee thereof shall not be adversely affected by any vacancy in the membership of the Council or committee or by any defect in the appointment of a member of the Zonal Council or of a committee or by reason that a person not entitled to do so took part in the proceedings of the Zonal Council or committee. Committees 4.(1) A Zonal Council may appoint one or more committees to carry out, on behalf of the Council such of its functions as the Council may determine. (2) A committee appointed under this paragraph shall consist of such number of persons (not necessarily members of the Zonal Council) as may be determined by the Zonal Council; and a person other than a member of the Zonal Council shall hold office on the committee in accordance with the terms of his appointment. (3) A decision of a committee of the Zonal Council shall be of no effect until it is confirmed by the Council
    • 30 SCHEDULE 5 Section 17(1) Form of Questions DO YOU THINK THAT THE CONSTITUTION PROPOSED FOR NIGERIA BY THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE IS ACCEPTABLE? Green Ballot Paper for YES. Green Red Red Ballot Paper for NO.
    • 31 THE PRESIDENCY FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA MINORITY REPORT OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL DIALOGUE/CONFERENCE NOVEMBER 2013