President Muhammadu Buhari has refrain from assenting to Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018 due to “some drafting issues” that has not been dealt with following the prior revisions to the Bill.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang made this known in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday.
The presidential aide said that already, the president had communicated his position to the Senate and the House of Representatives on Aug. 30.
“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.’’
“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).
‘’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.
“It has the unintended consequence of leaving 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.” he said.
He explained that the Electoral Amendment Bill did not look into sections 31, 34 and 85 which stipulated times for the submission of lists of candidates, publication of lists of candidates and notice of convention, congresses for nominating candidates for elections.
“For clarity, may I provide some details of the provisions referenced; Clause 87 (14) states.
“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 a general election, submit to the commission the list of candidates the party proposes to sponsor at the elections.
“Section 34: 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):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.’’
He added that the constitution is against a President or a Governor to whom a bill is 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.