The Senate has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “immediately” reconstitute the Federal Character Commission (FCC) in line with extant laws.
The call followed a motion sponsored by Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe on the “urgent need to reconstitute the Federal Character Commission”.
The upper chamber noted that the tenure of the current 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 said the FCC is one of the national tools for ensuring equity, unity, fairness and justice in employment distribution across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“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,” he said.
In his lead debate, Abaribe noted that Act Number 34 of 1996 and Section 153 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provide for the establishment of the FCC.
He added that sub-sections 1, 2 and 3 of the Act stipulate the establishment, membership and tenure of office of the chairman and members of the commission.
The senator noted that Section 3(1) of the Act states that its chairman and members of the commission shall hold office for 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.
Abaribe 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 provision of the Act or the Constitution stipulates the need for the office of a sole administrator or an Acting Chairman.”