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Buhari Rejects Electoral Act Bill, Gives Reasons

Gbemileke Ajayi

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President Muhammadu Buhari has declined assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018, transmitted to him by the National Assembly.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, disclosed this in a statement on Monday.

He said the President declined to assent to the bill due to some issues.

According to him, one of the concerns of the President was the period fixed for primaries.

He said the schedule for primaries provided that it should not be earlier than 120 days and not later than 90 days to elections.

He further said the schedule would allow Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) only 9 days to collate the list of candidates among others.

“His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, has by communication dated Aug. 30, 2018, to the Senate and the House of Representatives declined to assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

“I pray for leave, that in view of public interest, the fact of the National Assembly vacation, the imperative to avoid speculation and misinformation, that I give just a few of the rationale by Mr. President.

‘’Mr. President is declining assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill due to some drafting issues that remain unaddressed following the prior revisions to the Bill.

“Mr. President invites the Senate and House of Representatives to address these issues as quickly as possible so that he may grant Assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill.”

Enang added that Section 87(14) of the bill among other sections, needed to be reviewed by the national assembly.

He said, “the proposed amendment to include a new Section 87 (14) which stipulates a specific period within which political party primaries are required to be held has the unintended consequence.

”It leaves INEC with only nine days to collate and compile lists of candidates and political parties as well manage the primaries of 91 political parties for the various elections.

“This is because the Electoral Amendment Bill does not amend sections 31, 34 and 85 which stipulates times for the submission of lists of candidates, publication of lists of candidates and notice of convention, congresses for nominating candidates for elections.”

He further said, “for clarity, may I provide some details of the provisions referenced.

“Clause 87 (14) states that, ‘the dates for the primaries shall not be earlier than 120 days and not later than 90 days before the date of elections to the offices.

“The Electoral Act 2010 referred to herein states in Section 31, ‘’that every political party shall, not later than 60 days before the date appointed for general elections, submit to the Commission the list of candidates the party proposes to sponsor at the elections.

“Section 34 stipulates that ‘the Commission shall at least 30 days before the day of the election publish a statement of the full names and addresses of all candidates standing nominated.

“Section 85 (1) provides that a ‘political party shall give the Commission at least 21 days notice of any convention, congress etc., for electing members of its executive committees or nominating candidates for any of the elective offices,’’

Enang explained that for the avoidance of doubt, neither the Constitution nor any written law allowed a president or a governor to whom a Bill was forwarded by the legislature to edit, correct, amend or in any manner alter the provisions of any such Bill to reflect appropriate intent before assenting to same.

He said such a person was to assent in the manner it was sent or withhold assent.

The presidential aide also listed other reasons for the withholding of assent by the president.

“A few of the outstanding issues are, there is a cross-referencing error in the proposed amendment to Section 18 of the Bill. The appropriate amendment is to substitute the existing sub-section (2) with the proposed subsection (1A), while the proposed sub-section (1B) is the new sub-section (2A).”

He further noted the president had communicated his action on other bills earlier transmitted to the national assembly.

The bills, according to Enang, include the National Agricultural Seeds Council Bill, 2018, The Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and The Chartered Institute of Entrepreneurship (Establishment) Bill, 2018.

Others according to him, are the Subsidiary Legislation (Legislative Scrutiny) Bill, 2018; National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (Establishment) Bill, 2018; National Research and Innovation Council (Establishment) Bill 2017; Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2017.

Enang had in August, clarified that the Electoral Bill passed by the National Assembly on July 24 and forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari on Aug. 3, was alive and awaiting assent.

He gave the clarification against the backdrop of a report published by a national daily that Buhari had again vetoed the 2018 electoral bill forwarded to him for assent.

Enang had said the vetoed bill was the one sent to the President on June 27 and not the one passed by both chambers of the National Assembly on July 24, the day it embarked on annual recess.

Enang added that the vetoed bill was the one with contentious provisions and infractions on provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

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TRENDING: Another Video Of Gov. Ganduje Receiving Part Of The Alleged $5M Bribe Released

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Another video captured with a spy camera shows Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, receiving part of $5m bribe from a contractor.

This is the second of the 15-series trove of video clips obtained by DAILY NIGERIAN.

Daily Nigerian had initially said they have about 15 videos with voice clips and others not including voice recording, the 1st wave was released yesterday & today, 15th of October, the online media platform had done justice to their promise by releasing another video clip of just 15 seconds but shows a lot of activities.

Watch the clip below:

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2019: Buhari’s Minister, Shittu Drags APC To Court

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The Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, has dragged his political party, the All Progressives Congress, APC to court.

The Minister took the legal action after the party disqualified him as a governorship aspirant in Oyo State.

The ruling party stopped the Minister from continuing his gubernatorial race through screening after he failed to present a National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, discharge certificate.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that Shittu in the originating summons argued that it was wrong for APC to disqualify him for not presenting the certificate.

The Oyo-born politician also said that participation in the NYSC scheme was not a condition precedent to be satisfied before he was appointed a minister.

He, therefore asked the court to determine “whether by the provision of Section 2(1) of the National Youth Service Corps Decree No. 24 of 1973 and/or any other provision of the Decree being the law in force as at 1978 when the Plaintiff graduated at the University of Ile-Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) he was under any legal obligation to have warranted the plaintiff’s participation in the National Youth Service Corps in the absence of a call-up instrument duly served on the Plaintiff by the National Youth Service Corps.

“Whether, by the combined reading of sections 176-183 of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria [as Amended] and Article 20(iii) & (iv) of the Constitution of the All Progressive Congress; it is a condition that the gubernatorial aspirant of the 1st Defendant (APC) and/or any political party for that matter in Nigeria must present the National Youth Service Corps Discharge/Exemption Certificate;

”Whether it is ultra vires the powers of the 1st defendant to have disqualified the plaintiff from participating in its primary election for the nomination of the governorship candidate of the 1st defendant in Oyo State for the 2019 General Election on the ground that the plaintiff does not possess National Youth Service Corps Discharge/Exemption Certificate;

”Whether it does not amount to denial of fair hearing as enshrined in section 36(1) of the 1999 constitution of as amended for the 1st defendant to have purportedly disqualified the plaintiff from contesting for governorship election in Oys state under the platform of the 1st defendant without availing the Plaintiff an opportunity to be heard on the allegations that the plaintiff avoided the National Youth Service Scheme; and

”Whether by the combined reading of the provisions of Sections 147(5), 65(1)(b) & (2), 66 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Section 12 of the National Youth Service Corps Act, Cap N84 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, the plaintiff was qualified to have been appointed as a Minister capable of holding the office, and/or any other governmental office at any level notwithstanding the fact that he did not participate in the National Youth Service Corps scheme.”

In an affidavit, the Minister personally swore to and filed by A.U. Mustapha, his counsel, Shittu said there was no “call-up instrument” served on him when he graduated.

“I was liable but not obligated to have participated in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme both at the time I graduated from the said University and as at the time I was called to the Nigerian bar,” the affidavit read.

“I know as a fact that I was also not served any notice or notified in any manner to proceed to participate in the National Youth Service Corps scheme.

“I know as a fact that participation in the National Youth Service Corps programme is not one of the requirements to be satisfied under the 1st defendant’s constitution to enable me to participate in the primary election for Nominating the party flag bearer for the office of governor of Oyo state in the 2019 general election. A copy of the Constitution of the 1st Defendant is hereby attached and marked as ‘Exhibit SHITTU 8’.

“I also know as a fact that under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) it is not a requirement for me to have participated in National Youth Service Corps Scheme to be eligible for participation in the 1st Defendant’s primary election for Nomination of its flag bearer in Oyo State for the 2019 General election.

“I know also as a fact that the Electoral Act 2010 [as amended] did not make participation in the National Youth Service Corps Scheme a condition precedent for contesting any elective office whatsoever. I know also that participation in NYSC Scheme is not one of the requirements to enable me to take part in the primary election for nomination of the 1st defendant’s flag bearer for the office of governor of Oyo state in the 2019 General election.”

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Zenith Bank Hosts Its First Global Economic Forum [VIDEO]

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Watch the video excerpt from Channels TV below:

 

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