However, the sitting lasted for just a few minutes as the
leadership of the Conference, led by the Chairman and retired
Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, GCON,
announced plans for accelerated handling of final approval of
the draft resolutions.
flanked by his deputy, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, the Conference
Secretary, Dr (Mrs) Valerie-Jenete Azinge and the other three
principal officers, delightfully welcomed the delegates back to
He apologized for the postponement of resumption from August 4
to August 11; explaining that it was due to the enormous work
that needed to be done to ensure the completion of the draft
Justice Kutugi reassured delegates of the inviolability of the
draft resolutions; adding: “If there are any errors, they are
human errors and not an attempt by the leadership to any play
He further stated that the draft reports of the Conference
prepared by the Secretariat were done “to the best of our
ability and with all honesty and diligence.”
However, he said as humans, there could be noticeable errors
that would be corrected if brought to the attention of the
secretariat; “any mistake is due to human error and can be
The chairman said in line with the resolution of the Conference,
the reports were prepared to cover constitutional issues based
on amendments agreed upon by the delegates; policy issues meant
for implementation by the President; and legislative issues
earmarked for enactment into laws by the National Assembly.
Justice Kutigi explained that the copy labeled “draft
constitution” contained the various alterations and amendments
to the 1999 Constitution “proposed by you.”
After the brief address, delegates applauded the chairman,
signifying their agreement with his explanation and readiness to
discuss and approve the draft reports.
Justice Kutigi immediately went ahead to spell out the procedure
to be adopted by the Conference for consideration and approval
of the different reports.
He said after considering several options towards resolving
issues emanating from the reports within the shortest possible
time and without problems, the leadership came to the conclusion
that the smooth but detailed method adopted in handling
committees’ reports should be applied.
He said all groups and individuals should study the report and
diligently write out areas that need to be corrected and submit
them to the Conference Secretariat for compilation and
presentation to the Conference when delegates reconvene on
The Chairman said when such comments are compiled, they would be
read out on the floor and would either be adopted or rejected by
the Conference in plenary for final adoption of the report.
To further enhance and smoothen the process of approving the
draft report prepared by the Secretariat, the Chairman summoned
a meeting of leaders of delegation from the geo-political zones
to discuss certain critical issues.
Both proposals were unanimously accepted by the Conference in
plenary without any objection while delegates agreed to meet
again on Thursday to practically begin the process of approving
Before adjourning the session, Justice Kutigi announced the
presence of a new delegate, Supo Shonibare, who replaced
Olaniwun Ajayi from the South West; and the death of Professor
Mohammed Nur Alkali.
During separate meetings with the leaders of the northern and
southern delegation, the Conference management was severally
commended for producing a magnificent report within a short
space of them.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY, MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS
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