Again, Buhari refuses to give assent to Electoral Bill 2018

Again, Buhari refuses to give assent to Electoral Bill 2018
Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to give assent to the Electoral Bill passed to him by the National Assembly.

It was the third time the president would be refusing to give assent to the bill.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, made this known on Friday while addressing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the president had passed his decision to the National Assembly.

Said Enang:  “President Muhammadu Buhari has taken decision on Electoral Act Amendment bill 2018. In accordance with his power under the 1999 Constitution and has communicated that decision to the Senate and House of Representatives in accordance with the law.”

When asked to explain whether or not the president had refused to assent to the bill, Enang said:  “It is safe to say that the president has taken decision as allowed by low and has communicated that decision to the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“The implication of the decision is that the president has taken action on the bill within the time allowed by law.”

It would be recalled that the president had in the past refused to give assent to the bill following concern over the re-ordering of the sequence of the 2019 election by the National Assembly as against what the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, decided.

On another occasion, the president refused to give assent to the bill, complaining of drafting problems.

It would also be recalled that the President of the Senate had on Wednesday emphasized the need for the president to pass the Electoral Bill despite the advice of people he described as anti-democratic elements putting pressure on him.

Saraki in a statement issued in Ilorin on by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, urged the President to rise above petty politics and act without further delay.

Signing the bill into law, he said, was in the best interest of the country and its democracy.

Saraki noted that he had been inundated with telephone calls and discussions by members of the National Assembly who expressed concern about the delay in the signing into law of the Electoral Bill as the one month period provided by the law for the President to sign a bill presented to him by the National Assembly was about to expire in the next few days.

He added that many of the legislators who contacted him were particularly disturbed that certain individuals said to be chairmen of political parties had approached the Federal High Court to stop the President from assenting to the bill.

He noted that the tactic employed in the 90s to scuttle the return to democracy when groups like the Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) went to court to frustrate the announcement of the results of the June 12, 1993 elections is now being adopted by some masked groups and individuals to stop the signing into law of the Electoral Bill.

He urged President Buhari to dissociate himself from the ugly antics and sign the bill which he said had comprehensively addressed issues that usually clogged the process of free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.