- President Muhammadu Buhari's refusal to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment bill has been commended by a constitutional lawyer and political analyst
- The analyst, Wale Ogunade, says assenting to the bill the way it was presented to him would have caused more harm to the nation's polity
- The bill was passed by the National Assembly on July 24 and transmitted to the president on August 3
A constitutional lawyer and political analyst, Wale Ogunade, on Thursday, September 13, said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018 in the state it was presented to him was in order.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Oguntade said the president would have caused more harm to the nation’s polity if he had assented to the bill the way it was.
NAIJ.com gathers that President Buhari, for the third time, has withheld assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2018, which was passed by the National Assembly on July 24, and transmitted to the president on August 3.
The president’s decision to withhold assent for the third time was made public on Monday, September 3.
Ogunade said: ”According to the presidency, the president’s refusal to assent to the Electoral bill was as a result of some lapses observed in the bill.
”Such assent may cause more damage to our growing democracy than what it is trying to avert, which was why the presidency has made necessary inputs before sending the bill back to the National Assembly.
”We hope the National Assembly will reconvene to consider and approve the necessary corrections to the amended Electoral Act, and send it back to Mr President within a short time."
He urged the National Assembly not to override the bill, but consider the observations noted by the presidency.
”But again, if the assembly thinks otherwise, they can veto it, and of course pass it into law, but it cannot work because the situation is very dicey; if they pass the bill as it is, they may cause more harm to the nation’s democracy.”
According to him, this is because the bill does not adequately take care of electronic voting and INEC’s registration of more political parties.
”I believe that the Assembly members know that re-working the bill will be good for their political careers, so, they will not veto it," he added.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, March 12, in two separate letters addressed to the Senate president Bukola Saraki and speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, rejected the amendment to the Electoral Act.
The president gave three reasons for withholding assent to the Electoral Act Amendment bill which was passed by both chambers of the National Assembly intending to change the country's elections sequence.
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