BY NKECHI NAECHE—President Muhammadu Buhari has on Tuesday declined assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill 2018.
The President communicated this in a letter to the National Assembly rejecting the amendment to the Electoral Act bill.
He disclosed his position on Tuesday via a letter to the Senate President Bukola Saraki.
In the letter read at plenary by Saraki, President Buhari made reference to the most controversial aspect of the amendment: the sequence of elections.
According to Buhari, 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 organize, undertake and supervise elections provided in Section 15(A) of the third statue to the Constitution.
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.
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.
The letter further reads: “Some of my reasons for withholding assent to the bill include the following (a) the amendment of sequence of the election in the section 25 of the principal Act, many infringe upon the constitutional guaranteed discretion of INEC to organize, undertake and supervise all elections provided in section 15A of the third schedule of the constitution.”