Buhari Refuses To Sign Electoral Amendment Bill

Lester Mason
March 13, 2018

As the 2019 general election draws near, the Senate's Joint Committee on INEC and Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters has urged the National Electoral Commission (INEC), to exercise its powers and sanction persons or parties acting against the electoral laws.

It read in part, "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 Senate in particular would be very anxious, if INEC begins to condone the actions of some political parties".

He also lamented that some political aspirants and parties were already campaigning when INEC had yet to declare electioneering open. The apex legislative chamber also recommends 10 years for electoral offenders involved in corrupt practices of undue influences and bribery during elections. He added that Nigeria had a lot of people who knew how to go to court to get all kinds of judgments but that "INEC should be cautious of who it is listening to".

"We would not sit anywhere this constitution will be violated".

He said: "More so that some of the offenders may be staff of INEC itself; how do we prosecute ourselves so the solution will be to have a commission to prosecute violators of Electoral Act".

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.

While this was going on, the Chairman of INEC, Prof.

He also explained that reports of the Electoral Reform Committee (the Uwais Report) 2008, and the Post-election Violence (Lemu Report) 2011 have been left to gather dust on the shelves.

"The electoral offences Bill seeks to Establish an independent commission and will address issues relating to the coordination of laws".

"Of recent, there have been arguments on who has power to do what", Saraki said.

A similar letter was sent to Bukola Saraki, the president of the Senate.

He disclosed that while INEC was saddled with the responsibility of prosecuting electoral offenders, the process was being severely hampered. "There are several factors responsible for the inadequate success ranging from the huge prosecutorial task, dependence on other agencies for arrest and investigation, time and resources", he said.

"I hope that as we are doing the 2018 budget, we will take note of this", said the Senate President.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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