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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.

BIG STORY

Kano Drama! Court Restrains Ganduje, Anti Corruption Commission From Taking Action Against Emir Sanusi

Peter Okunoren

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A Federal High Court sitting in Kano on Tuesday granted an order restraining Kano State Governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje and the State Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Commission from acting on the preliminary report on alleged misappropriation of N3.4 billion by the Kano Emirate Council.

The order followed a suit filed on June 7, by Muhammad Mannir-Sanusi, Dan Buran Kano, seeking an order to restrain Ganduje, the Commission and the state Attorney General or their agents from acting on the preliminary report of the investigation.

Justice Obiara A. Egwuatu, issued the restraining order and directed that the respondents be served through a publication in the Daily Trust newspaper and the Attorney General of the state.

He adjourned the case to June 28, for hearing of the motion on notice.

The anti-corruption commission had on June 14, forwarded the preliminary report of the investigation in which it indicated the Kano Emirate Council, to the Secretary to the State Government for appropriate action by the state government.

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BREAKING: Thugs Beat Up Oshiomhole, 14 Other Edo Lawmakers-Elect

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Suspected thugs have beaten up Seidu Oshiomhole, the younger brother of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress and lawmaker-elect (Etsako West 11) of the Edo State House of Assembly.

The attack on Oshiomhole and 14 other lawmakers of the Edo State House of Assembly is the latest in the crisis between the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and the National Chairman of the APC.

According to Tribune Online, the 15 lawmakers, who were absent at midnight on Monday when the other nine members of the Assembly were inaugurated, were attacked at a hotel in downtown Benin, the Edo State capital, where they were having a meeting.

Some of them were said to have sustained serious injuries.

A former Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Victor Tiger Edoror, was said to have led his colleagues to the police headquarters in Benin to report the assault.

The nine members who met to inaugurate the Assembly elected Frank Okiye (Esan North East 1) as the Speaker.

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Best Alcohol Unveils New Premium Drink, Best Honey Cream

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A new flavour from the stables of Nigerbev Limited, makers of Best alcoholic beverage, has been unveiled in Nigeria to the delight of their teeming alcoholic beverage lovers.

Best alcohol premium beverage aims to satisfy the taste buds of our esteemed customers and consistent with our pledge to provide Best products and exciting choices at all times, we have recently introduced a new variant called Best Honey cream made from soothing and comforting honey flavor which can be served chilled or with ice.

The product is now available in trade channels (open markets, supermarkets, neighborhood stores, bars, and restaurants)

Best Honey cream is Thick… Rich… Creamy…

Available in 750ml and 200ml #simplythebest

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