In keeping with the constitutional responsibility of my Office as the Chief Law Officer of the Federation and the mandate of the Federal Ministry of Justice to ensure that legislation in the public domain are comprehensive, certain and predictable, the imperativeness of producing for circulation the authentic version of the 1999 Constitution with its 1st, 2nd and 3rd Alterations as passed by the National Assembly in 2010 and gazetted by the Federal Government Printer in 2011 is of utmost importance and priority.
By virtue of section 22 (1) of the Interpretation Act, CAP 123, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, where an enactment is amended by the insertion or omission of words or by the substitution of words for other words, then on printing the enactment at any time after the amendment takes effect, the person authorized to print the enactment shall, if so directed by the Attorney – General of the Federation, print the enactment as so amended. I have therefore directed the Federal Government Printer to print the Constitution with the First, Second and third Alterations.
In line with the provisions of the section 22 (2) of the Interpretation Act (supra), the Federal Government Printer has included special side notes as indicators of the amendment and the enactment of which it was made.
The rationale for this production at this point in time is as a result of the recent unwholesome development of the circulation of different versions of the 1999 Constitution (with its Alterations) by some vendors without my seal of authority and approval leading to the situation whereby erroneous and misleading provisions are contained in some of the copies of the Constitution in circulation.
I therefore recommend this publication of the 1999 Constitution with its Alterations as passed by the National Assembly to date to all institutions, persons seeking to know the current constitutional provisions applicable in Nigeria and to the general public for use and appropriate guidance.
MOHAMMED BELLO ADOKE, SAN, CFR
Honourable Attorney – General of the Federation
and Minister of Justice