Journalism of Courage

Electoral bill: Buhari again declines assent

President Muhammadu Buhari has for the fourth time rejected putting his signature to the Amendment made to the Electoral Act by the National Assembly.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate) Ita Enang discloses this to State House Correspondents on Friday while the Federal Executive Council (FEC) was ongoing.

The Presidential Aide said Buhari has communicated to the National Assembly on the decision taken on the Electoral Act.

Enang said, “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.”

Asked whether the bill was assented or rejected, he said “the president has taken a decision in a accordance with the powers vested in him according to the constitution. And by convention that decision contained in the communication can only be revealed by the person to whom that decision is addressed. But the electoral bill has left Mr. President because he has taken a decision and has remitted it back.”

Pushed further for details of the decision he said, “Thank You very much but this is all the law allows me to say by convention. Mr. President has sent that communication to the National Assembly.”

When asked why the President returned the bill back to NASS he said, “the President has communicated his decision to the National Assembly and that is what it is now.”

When asked if it is safe to say he rejected the bill, Enang replied, “it is safe to say that the President has taken decision as allowed by law and has communicated that decision to the Senate and the House of Representatives.”

When asked the implication of the decision on the 2019 elections, the presidential aide said, “The implication of the decision is that the President has taken action on the bill within the time allowed by law.”

Enang has only on Monday urged Nigerians to disregard rumours suggesting that President Buhari will not sign the controversial  Electoral Act (amendment) Bill 2018.


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