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2023: What INEC Said About Buhari’s Letter On Electoral Bill

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2023: What INEC Said Buhari's Letter On Electoral Bill

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it received a letter from President Muhammadu Buhari over the recently passed Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, made this known in a statement on Wednesday.

Naija News reports that the President had sought the advice of INEC regarding the direct primaries and other contents in the Electoral Bill.

In the letter, President Buhari asked the Chairman of the electoral body, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, to give his expert opinion on the contentious act.

Reacting, Okoye said the President’s letter to the Commission was democratic and legal, commending him for the move.

He stated that INEC will put national interest and interest of the country’s democracy first when it makes its views known to the President.

Okoye added that the commission will go through the bill and revert to the President within the time frame given to it.

He said, “Pursuant to Section 58(4) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the President has 30 days to assent to a bill presented to him by the National Assembly.

“The President has requested the commission and other critical national institutions to revert with detailed and considered views indicating whether or not the President should assent to the bill.

“This is the democratic way to go and the commission will make its views known to the President bearing in mind the overriding national interest and interest of our democracy.

“The commission will go through the bill and revert to the President within the time frame given to it.”

Speaking on the direct primaries debate, Okoye said the commission does not dictate to political parties the mode of primaries to adopt.

He stated that direct primaries have been a feature of the electoral legal framework of the nation.

He said, “Direct primaries have been a feature of our electoral legal framework. The commission has monitored direct and indirect primaries organised by the different political parties. The commission does not dictate to political parties on the mode of primaries to adopt.

“The new system of direct primary election proposed in the bill domiciles the conditions for the conduct of the primaries with the political parties. In other words, the procedure adopted for the direct primaries shall be spelt out in guidelines to be issued by the political party and filed with the commission at least 14 days before the primary election.



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