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Election Reorder: Buhari Dares NASS, Rejects Amended Electoral Act

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Again, President Muhammadu Buhari has declined to assent into Law the Amended Electoral Act recently passed by the National Assembly.

The Bill provides for the Presidential election to hold last after the NASS and Governorship elections.

In the original Bill, the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC scheduled the Presidential election to be held first during the general election, but the NASS reversed it.

President’s rejection was contained in a letter dated March 3, 2108 and addressed to the President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki. The letter was read during Tuesday’s plenary.

The letter explained that President Buhari withheld his assent to the bill because the amendment to the sequence of the elections in Section 25 of the Principal Act might infringe upon the constitutionally guaranteed discretion of the INEC.

He stated further that the section guaranteed the INEC to organise, undertake and supervise all the elections as provided in Section 15 (a) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution.

The President’s letter read in part:”The amendment to Section 138 of the Principal Act to delete two crucial grounds upon which an election may be challenged by candidates, unduly limits rights of candidates in elections to a free and fair electoral review process.

“The amendment to section 152 (325) of the Principal Act may raise constitutional issues over the competence of the National Assembly to legislate over Local Government elections.

“Please accept Mr. Senate President the assurances of my highest consideration”.

It would be recalled that Mr. President about three weeks ago also refused to sign into Law, the Bill establishing The Peace Corps, citing financial implication and duplication of effort with the other security agencies.

Last week in a point of order raised by a Kogi State Senator, Dino Melaye and which was adopted, the Senate called on President Buhari to reconsider his position and threatened that the upper Legislative Chamber could veto the Bill. 

 

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