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Monday, 24 December 2018

Buhari Won’t Sign Any More Bills – Presidency

Buhari Won’t Sign Any More Bills – Presidency

Muhammadu Buhari

The Presidency said on Sunday that President Muhammadu Buhari had drawn the curtains on the signing of bills for the Fourth Alteration to the 1999 Constitution.

It noted that any bills not signed till date must have lapsed, adding that Buhari would have also communicated same to the National Assembly.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, spoke exclusively with The PUNCH amid renewed talks that Buhari failed to sign most of the constitution amendment bills.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives spent at least N1bn of taxpayers’ money between 2017 and the first quarter of 2018 on the fourth alteration of the 1999 constitution (as amended).

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Speaking on the issue, Enang said, “If the President has not signed any bill as of today – and he must have written the National Assembly informing them – it is because the time allowed by law has elapsed.

“It is no more available for signing. And I know that the President assented to some of the bills that were submitted and sent the rest back to the National Assembly.

“Any one that has not been assented to, the time constitutionally allowed has elapsed and the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives must have been communicated.”

Findings showed that the Senate and the House initially proposed 33 amendments to the constitution, but both chambers only mutually passed 17 of the bills.

The 17 bills were later forwarded to the 36 state Houses of Assembly for approval in compliance with Section 9 of the constitution.

It was gathered that on April 18, the National Assembly forwarded 12 of the bills, which secured the endorsement of the two chambers upon return from the states, to President Buhari for his assent.

Buhari so far signed the Not Too Young to Run Bill (reducing the eligible age to contest for President from 40 to 35 years) and four others.

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