The 10th National Assembly has commenced the recommittal process of Bills passed by the 9th Assembly but were neither assented to nor assent withheld by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu before the expiration of the preceding Assembly.
Available records from the office of the Clerk to the National Assembly, show that Bills that fall into this category, were 44, one of which, is the Nigerian Peace Corps Establishment Bill which was earlier transmitted to the former President, Muhammadu Buhari in April this year but was among those not assented to, before leaving office on May 29, 2023.
The bill was retransmitted to President Tinubu for his assent by them through a letter dated 8th June 2023 and signed by the Clerk to the National Assembly, Sani Magaji Tambawal.
It however became statute – barred for presidential assent on the 13th of June 2023 when the 10th National Assembly was inaugurated since it was passed by the 9th Assembly.
Strong moves are however being made at both Chambers to expeditiously reconsider, pass and transmit the bill for assent by President Bola Tinubu.
Some of the other bills in this category are: Armed Forces Act (Amendment) Bill 2023, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Act (Amendment) Bill 2023, ECOWAS Convention on Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and other Related Materials (Ratification and Enforcement) Bill 2023, Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences (Amendment) Bill 2023, Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2023, Federal Polytechnic, Nyak-Shendam (Establishment) Bill, Nigeria Police Force College Training School and Institution (Establishment) Bill, 2023, National Library of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill, 2023, Federal Medical Centers Act (Amendment) Bill, 2023 etc.
The Bills, some of which are Sponsored by the Deputy Speaker, Benjamin Kalu, were read for the first time on Thursday.
Indication that the recommittal process is to be given effect, emerged in the House of Representatives on Wednesday this week when a required motion for that purpose, was moved by Leader of the House, Professor Julius Ihonvbere.
Ihonvbere who came under Order 12, Rule 16 of the Standing Orders of the House, noted that “Bills passed by the preceding Assembly and forwarded to the Senate for concurrence for which no concurrence was made or negatived or passed by the Senate and forwarded to the House for which no concurrence was made or negatived or which were passed by the National Assembly and forwarded to the President for assent but for which assent or withholding thereof was not communicated before the end of the tenure of the Assembly, the House may resolve that such Bill, upon being re-gazetted or clean copies circulated, be re-considered in the Committee of the Whole without being commenced de-novo .
The Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon Benjamin Kalu who presided over the session, commended Ihonvbere for his foresight in coming up with the motion which according to him, was to cure instances, where bills were passed by previous assemblies but were not assented to and are presented again to the House for consideration.