Reps await Buhari’s assent on Electoral Act (amendment) Bill


The House of Representatives said it had no intention of prevailing on President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill currently before him.
Chairman of Committee on Media and Publicity, Mr Abdulrazak Namdas, disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday and said that the House would invoke its constitutional powers if the President failed to sign the Bill.
According to him, the house will be forced into action if the president failed to assent to the Bill at the end of the mandatory 30 days required by the Constitution.
Namdas spoke against the backdrop of insistence by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stick to its earlier sequence of the 2019 elections which placed the Presidential Poll first.
The amended Electoral Act Bill provides for a timeline for submission of candidates lists and changes the election sequence and party primaries as well as deals with the use of technological gadgets in the elections.
Namdas, however, expressed optimism that Buhari would append his signature on the bill, adding that it was too early to preempt the president’s action.
He said “as at today, the president has not assented to the Electoral Act Bill, and what I said is that we have options, which is not just on the Electoral Act.
“If the president refuses assent to any bill, he sends it back to us, and this president has a habit of giving reasons for not signing any bill. The latest is the Peace Corps Bill; at least, he stated his reasons.
“So, naturally we cannot override when the man has not even given reasons and not done anything. So, we have to wait.
“We have got the option to override, but we have to wait. We cannot do that until we hear from the president before this thing takes place. So, I think it’s not as if we are sitting and waiting patiently.

“What if the man assents to the bill, it ends the story. So, let’s wait till the procedure comes to a conclusion. We cannot just preempt what the president will do.
“Definitely, we have to give him the latitude to do what he wants to do.”

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