Nigeria took a further step toward Parliamentary democracy on Tuesday (September 14) with the presentation of the draft constitution to the head of state, Lieutenant General Olusegun Obasanjo.
SV Lt. General Obasanjo sitting down
GV Mr. rotimi Williams speaking as guests listen
SV Committee members look on as Mr. Williams presents constitution draft to General Obasanjo (3 shots)
SV Obasanjo speaking as committee listen (3 shots)
Chief Williams' reference to General Obasanjo's predecessor was to the late head of state, General Murtala Mohammed, who called for the setting up of the Drafting Panel. He listed five guidelines: Provisions for genuine and truly national political parties; an executive presidential system of Government; independent judiciary; the provision of corrective institutions like the corrupt practices tribunal and public complaint bureau, and constitutional restriction on the number of states to be created.
CHIEF WILLIAMS: "Last year, your illustrious predecessor appointed all of us present here and a few others who are unable to be here this morning to prepare a draft constitution for Nigeria. The draft was to be prepared by us for publication to the public so that all Nigerians could express their views on what has been submitted. That will be followed we understand by the Constituent Assembly comprising elected representatives of Nigeria who will then consider the draft constitution in the light of the considerations that have been made by the public and enact the constitution into law. On behalf of members of the constitution drafting committee, I present to your excellency the two volumes of our report."
"You were officially selected, picked, for this task. And from the reports we have had we feel we haven't made too serious an error of judgement in our selection. I believe this is not just self praise I think, where on an occasion like this praise should be given, I think it should be given - within the next month or so this report should be made public, it should be made available to every Nigerian and we hope that when this is done, it will be debated."
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Background: Nigeria took a further step toward Parliamentary democracy on Tuesday (September 14) with the presentation of the draft constitution to the head of state, Lieutenant General Olusegun Obasanjo. The ceremony took place at the Dodan Barracks in Lagos.
SYNOPSIS: The presentation documents comprised the actual constitution and the reports of the various sub-committees of the drafting panel. Panel Chairman, Chief Williams, who's a leading Nigerian lawyer, made the presentation.