Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has rejected the amendment to the Electoral Act proposed by National Assembly.
President Buhari’s rejection was contained in a letter read Tuesday, March 13 on the floor of the Nigerian Senate by the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.
The development is coming after the National Assembly had proposed that presidential election comes last in an amendment to the Electoral Act 2010, a proposal which was rejected by some senators on the ground that the President was the target.
Rejecting the amended timetable for 2019 elections in a letter to the National Assembly, President Buhari said amending section 25 of the electoral act would infringe on the “constitutionally guaranteed discretion” of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to organise, undertake and supervise elections.
The letter reads: “Pursuant to Section 58(4) of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), I hereby convey to the Senate, my decision, on 3rd March 2018, to decline presidential assent to the electoral amendment bill 2018 recently passed by the national assembly,” the letter read.
“Some of my reasons include the following -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 amendment 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.”