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FACT CHECK: ‘Not Too Young To Run’ Bill Was Never Presented, Considered During Lagos Meeting

July 23, 2017

SaharaReporters can authoritatively report that the bill was never presented or considered during the Lagos retreat.

The House of Representatives recently released a statement claiming the Not Too Young to Run Bill has not been removed from the constitutional review report. SaharaReporters can authoritatively report that the bill was never presented or considered during the Lagos retreat. For the records, there were only 23 bills in the report considered in the Lagos retreat by the joint committee and the Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly.  Below are the bills and titles of the proposals considered in Lagos:

  1. Composition of members of the council of state
  2. Authorization of expenditure
  3. Devolution of powers
  4. Financial autonomy of state legislature and state judiciary
  5. Distributable pool account
  6. Local government
  7. Pension for presiding officers of the legislature
  8. State creation and boundary adjustment
  9. The Legislature
  10. Political parties and electoral matters
  11. Presidential assent
  12. Timeframe for submitting ministerial or commissioner nominees
  13. Appointment of minister from FCT
  14. Change of name of some local government council
  15. Independent candidature
  16. The Nigerian Police Force
  17. Restriction of tenure of the President and Governor
  18. Replacement of Presidential or Governorship candidate who dies
  19. Separation of the Office of Accountant-General
  20. Office of the Auditor-General
  21. Separation of the Office of the Attorney-General from the Minister of Justice
  22. Submissions from the Judiciary
  23. Determination of Pre-election matters

The Not Too Young To Run Bill was never brought up for discussion but was killed at committee stage. The bill, which sought to remove the age requirements for running for office, was killed due to the fear that most of lawmakers would be unseated in 2019 and largely the lack of financial incentive attached to the proposal. For instance, during the Lagos retreat, several members brought monies to buy their interests.  

The statement made by the speaker and the deputy speaker is an afterthought, the bill considered during the retreat was No. 15: Independent Candidature, A Bill For An Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to provide for independent candidature in Elections and other related Matters.

We continue to stand by our initial story that the neither the removal of age, reduction of age for elective offices or the bill guaranteeing youth representation in appointive offices featured in the report considered in Lagos. Rather it is deputy speaker Lasun uttering falsehood as no Bill with anything to do with youth was raised.  We are challenging the National Assembly to make public the name of the bill passed.