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Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Electoral Act: Buhari Fixes Meeting With NASS Leadership, Tonight

Electoral Act: Buhari Fixes Meeting With NASS Leadership, Tonight

Buhari,Saraki and Dogara

President Muhammadu Buhari has scheduled a meeting with leadership of the National Assembly, tonight at the Presidential Villa.

The meeting, according to sources within the Presidency, may not be unconnected with reactions trailing the decision of the President to withhold assent to amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act.

The President had written a letter to the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, informing him of his decision to stand down assent to the amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act.

The letter was read on the floor during plenary on Tuesday, by the Senate President Bukola Saraki.

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Buhari had explained that he declined assent to the amendment of the Electoral Act owing to the amendment to the sequence of the election in Section 25 of the Principal Act may infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed discretion of INEC to organise, undertake and supervise all elections provided in section 16(a) of the Constitution.

Although the President is currently in Yobe state, in continuation of his visits to some states bedeviled by security challenges, he noted that 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 the right of candidates to a free and fair electoral review process.

He had further stated that 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.

The correspondence to Senate read in part, “Pursuant to Section 58 (4) of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), I hereby convey to the Senate, my decision on (3rd March, 2018) to decline presidential assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018 recently passed by the National Assembly.

“Some of my reasons for withholding assent to the Bill include the following:

“The amendment to the sequence of the elections in section 25 of the Principal Act may infringe upon the constitutionally guaranteed discretion of the Independent National Electoral Commission to organize, undertake and supervise all elections provided in section 15 (a) of the third schedule of the constitution.

“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 the rights of candidates in elections to a free and fair electoral review process and the amendments to section 152 (3)-(5) of the Principal Act, may raise constitutional issues over the competence of the National Assembly to legislate over Local Government elections.

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

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