Buhari Disagrees With Senate Over Election Sequence
President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected the proposed amendments to the Electoral Act, which reordered the sequence of the 2019 general elections by withholding his assent to the amendments.
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The development was contained in separate letters, dated March 3, 2018, signed by Buhari, to the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara.
The letter to the National Assembly reads, “Pursuant to Section 58(4) of the 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 include the following: 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;
“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;
“The amendment to Section 152 Subsection 325 of the Principal Act may raise Constitutional issues over the competence of the National Assembly to legislate over local government elections. Please accept Distinguished Senators, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
Nigeria News had previously reported that the National Assembly conveyed to the President for assent, the proposed amendment to the electoral act. In the proposed amendment the National Assembly election will come first, followed by governorship and state houses of assembly and finally the Presidential election which will now come last.
Recall that The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had put the presidential election as the first to be held on February 16, 2019.