President Buhari Rejects Amended 2019 Election Sequence

President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected the amended timetable for 2019 elections.
Buhari made this knwon in a letter read by Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker, House of Representatives, on Tuesday at Tuesday’s plenary.
In the letter, the president said the amendments infringe on the rights of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The letter read: “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.
“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 amend 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.
“Please accept Distinguished Senators, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
The amendments proposed by the National Assembly sought to make some changes in Nigeria’s electoral act including changing the sequence of the 2019 elections.
The federal lawmakers want their elections to come up first, followed by that of state lawmakers and governors, and lastly the presidential election.
Some All Progressives Congress senators had kicked against the adoption of the report, accusing the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, of influencing it.
With the rejection of amendments by the president, the next option left for the National Assembly is to override the president’s veto.
The National Assembly Conference Committee on Electoral Act (amendment) Bill had on February 6 adopted the reordered sequence of the 2019 general elections, scheduling presidential election last.
According to the sequence passed by the lawmakers, the general elections are to commence with that into the National Assembly, followed by governorship and State House of Assembly. The presidential poll is to come last.
This is against the sequence rolled out by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in late 2017, which put Presidential and National Assembly elections first and governorship and state assembly to follow.

Author: News Editor

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