The Senate on Tuesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “immediately” reconstitute the Federal Character Commission (FCC) in line with extant laws.
The call followed a motion sponsored by the Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, on the “urgent need to reconstitute the Federal Character Commission.”
The upper chamber noted that the tenure of the present Commission had elapsed and that failure to reconstitute the Commission would amount to a “breach of the Act establishing the Federal Character Commission and the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his contribution, noted that the FCC is one of the national tools that work to ensure equity, unity, fairness and justice in terms of employment distribution across all the 36 states and the FCT.
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“It is very important we have the full complement of the Commission in place and I believe that with this resolution, it will expedite action to reconstitute the membership of the Commission,” Lawan said.
Abaribe in his lead debate noted that Act No. 34 of 1996 and Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provided for the establishment of the Federal Character Commission (FCC).
He said that the subsection 1, 2 and 3 of the Act stipulate the establishment, membership and tenure of office of the Chairman and members of the Commission.
He said that Section 3(1) of the Act states that the Chairman and members of the Commission shall hold office for a period of five years in the first instance and for a further term of five years on such terms and conditions as may be specified in their letters of appointment.
He added: “Further aware that (the) Federal Character Commission body has lapsed since 2018 as against its Act.
“Observes that since 2018, the Federal Character Commission has been run by an acting chairman who has now become a sole administrator.
“Further observes that no provisions of the Act or the Constitution stipulate the need for the office of a sole administrator or an Acting Chairman.
“Note that the Federal Character Commission (FCC) has been a tool for unity, equitable formula distribution and good governance of the nation,” Abaribe said.
He insisted that failure to reconstitute the commission amount to a constitutional breach of the Act establishing the FCC.