The Senate on Tuesday passed a total of 49 bills out of the 68 considered during voting on the Constitution Amendment Bills.

The bills were contained in report of the Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, which was considered during plenary.

A total of 19 alteration bills failed to make passage during voting, which lasted almost five hours.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, while setting the tone for voting on the bills, explained that only bills which enjoyed passage in both chambers would be transmitted to the State Houses of Assemblies for concurrence.

According to him, any bill which fails to pass in the Senate or House of Representatives during voting automatically stands rejected by the National Assembly.

Among the bills that passed was that whittling down the power of State Governors as the lawmakers voted for the financial autonomy for state Houses of Assembly, State Judiciary, and scrapping the joint account between states and local governments.

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The Governors might fight back on those amendment as the National Assembly will transfer the bills to the State Houses of Assembly.

The reduction of Governors’ grip on the Judiciary and Houses of Assembly was sequel to clause by clause voting on the report of Senate Adhoc Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution.

Ninety-Two members of the Red Chambers voted overwhelmingly in support of granting full autonomy to local governments.

The lawmakers also voted in favour of financial autonomy for State Houses of Assembly and the Judiciary.

During the voting process, the Senate witnessed over 73 votes, the threshold required for such bills to pass.

Previous efforts to remove state Houses of Assembly and State Judiciary from the grip of State Governors hit the brickwall.

Even the Executive Order signed by President Muhammadu Buhari to that effect did not see the light of the day as the Governors ganged up against the implementation of the order by approaching Supreme court.

Some of the items that makes the Concurrent List for devolution of power include railway, electricity, prison, airport, separation of the office of the Accountant General of the Federal Government from that of the Accountant General of the Federation and the separation of the office of the Attorney General from the Minister of Justice.

Issues that were rejected included mayoral status for the Federal Capital Territory as well as retention of the controversial Value Added Task as the sole business of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

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