1999 constitution is a fraud, says UNNC

Oladimeji Ramon

“We believe that constitutions reproduce the common will of people; we believe that people make constitutions by and for themselves and constitutions are not made for people; and that constitutions must have the full legitimacy of ‘we, the people’. We believe that this is the reason the so-called 1999 constitution had to lie against itself by so declaring. This, of course, is a fraud on the people of Nigeria, which, we believe, has made the constitution illegal, illegitimate, unenforceable, null and void.

A group, United Nations of Nigeria Campaign, has described the 1999 constitution as a fraud, maintaining that no amount of amendments can legitimise it.

The group maintained that the only way Nigeria could move forward was to discard the 1999 constitution in its entirety and go back the constitution in operation in the country before the military coup of January 15, 1966.

The UNNC also argued that it would require the military, and not the National Assembly, to return Nigeria to the position it was prior to the coup.

It therefore called on former President Olusegun Obasanjo “as the most senior and most respected military and civilian citizen” in the country, to lead the campaign for the return of Nigeria to the pre-1966 coup era.

The UNNC stated these in a March 5, 2020 open letter by its convener, Oludotun Koleoso, addressed to Obasanjo, a copy of which was made available to The PUNCH.

The group said, “We believe that constitutions reproduce the common will of people; we believe that people make constitutions by and for themselves and constitutions are not made for people; and that constitutions must have the full legitimacy of ‘we, the people’. We believe that this is the reason the so-called 1999 constitution had to lie against itself by so declaring. This, of course, is a fraud on the people of Nigeria, which, we believe, has made the constitution illegal, illegitimate, unenforceable, null and void.

“No amount of restructuring, whether by adding to, deducting from or in any other way amending a fraudulent document in whatsoever manner can cure the fraud or in any way make it legal.

“If you are walking and you find yourself at a crossroads and do not know the right way, you should turn back; unless you want to gamble, which is what the Nigerian ruling class has been doing with the country since the military coup of January 15, 1966. They have been playing the Russian roulette with the destiny of Nigeria.

“The military intervened in the country’s constitutional development on 15th January 1966 and therefore only the military can and should restore Nigeria to its constitutional position before that day; not the National Assembly or any conference.”

The group, therefore, called on Obasanjo to “bring your influence to bear, if necessary, jointly with the other living former military heads of state,” to make a proclamation that the 1999 Constitution was no longer valid.

The group said should the military fail to return Nigeria to the pre-1966 coup constitution within 21 days, it would commence a legal action in Nigeria and Britain.

It said, “In such an action, we shall seek a declaration that the Nigerian federation was fraudulently effected in 1914; that the federation be, accordingly, dissolved and the United Nations appoint a sole administrator for enabling a national plebiscite for the people of Nigeria to choose between returning to the pre-January 15, 1966 constitution and the 1999 military constitution.”

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