The Sarkin Karshi in Abuja, Alhaji Ismaila Mohammed, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari against assenting to the constitution amendment bills to be transmitted to him by the National Assembly, describing majority of the approved proposals as self-serving.
He gave the advice in Abuja on Thursday at the 20th Daily Trust Dialogue.
The federal parliament had, in March, voted on 68 bills aimed at amending the 1999 Constitution, after which 44 were approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and transmitted to the state assemblies for concurrence.
A simple majority of votes is required in at least two-thirds of state assemblies (24 out of 36) and the amendments that sail through would be sent to the president for assent.
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The Senate had, on Tuesday, said 35 bills had satisfied constitutional provisions having been approved by not less than 24 state assemblies.
The Red Chamber had added that the approved bills would be transmitted to President Buhari for assent.
Among the 35 bills approved by state assemblies are: financial autonomy of state legislatures and state judiciary; power devolution to allow state governments build and operate airports, prisons, railways and power grid system.
Others are legislative power to summon the president and governors; timeframe to submit ministerial and commissioner nominees; timeframe for submission of national budget; and separation of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and of the State from the minister or commissioner for justice.
Those voted against included bills seeking to grant financial and administrative autonomy to local governments.
Speaking at the Daily Trust Dialogue, Alhaji Ismaila Mohammed, in advising Buhari against signing the bills, spoke against the establishment of state police and allowing the state government to build and operate prisons.
The monarch said the state police would be abused by governors to fight their political opponents; while convicted politically-exposed persons sent to state-owned prisons to serve jail terms would enjoy unfettered freedom.
He said: “I want to advise the president very strongly not to sign the constitution amendment bills the National Assembly is about to transmit to him. This is because some of the provisions are really self-serving.
“There are three areas of concern to me; chief among them is state police, allowing state governments to establish prisons and autonomy for state judiciary.
“The clamour for state police by governors is nothing but an attempt to have absolute control of the state apparatus including security.
“The governors are like emperors in the state. They have control over the state assemblies while the state treasury is in their pocket. They are also in control of the political structures in their states.
“If you create state police, there will be more insecurity in the country because their concern is not to fight crimes but to use the agency to fight political opponents, which will cause more crises.
“I’m afraid that the governors will simply assemble their thugs, give them arms and uniforms and call them state police officers.
“Secondly, if you allow the state government to establish prisons, anytime someone is convicted, and happens to be close to the governor, he or she will not serve jail term in the prison but in their bedroom.”