Pres. Buhari writes National Assembly, withholds assent to Electoral Act amendment bill
President Muhammadu Buhari has just communicated his decision to withhold assent to the Electoral Act amendment bill to the National Assembly.
A letter on the subject has been read to members of the House of Representatives on the floor by the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.
Buhari said the bill usurped the constitutional powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission to decide on election matters, including fixing the dates and the order they would be held.
In addition, the President stated that he was complying with the requirements of Section 58 of the 1999 Constitution, particularly, sub-section 4, by refusing to sign the bill.
Buhari’s letter read, in part, “Some of my reasons include the following:
“A. The amendment to the sequence of elections in Section 25 of the Principal Act, may infringe upon the constitutionally guaranteed discretion of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to organise, undertake and supervise elections provided in Section 15(A) of the third statue to the Constitution;
“B. The amend to Section 138 of the Principal Act to delete two crucial grounds upon which an election may be challenged by candidates, unduly limits the rights of candidates in elections to a free and fair electoral review process;
“C. The amendment to Section 152 Sub-section 325 of the Principal Act may raise constitutional issues over the competence of the National Assembly to legislate over local government elections.”