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Senate Spokesman Angry, Denies Errors In Electoral Bill Passed By National Assembly



Senate Breaks Silence On Rejection Of Gender Bills

The spokesman of the Nigerian Senate, Ajibola Basiru has declared that the National Assembly goes to extra lengths to ensure its works are error-free.

The Senate spokesman who argued that legislative matters are beyond “pedestrian work” submitted that the lawmakers are always meticulous in their submissions.

He spoke on Sunday during a town hall meeting organized by Yiaga Africa while responding to some accusations that there were errors in the copy of the amended electoral bill presented to President Muhammadu Buhari last year which the President eventually rejected in December 2020.

Basiru disagreed with the submission that the bill presented by the lawmakers was error-laden or that the National Assembly members did a shoddy job.

“It is very important to set this in context. I find some of the issues discussed here interesting — they are taking issues of legislation to be pedestrian work,” the spokesman said.

“I want to also say that it is not correct that the national assembly has done shoddy work on the electoral bill and I take that with seriousness to say that out of 185 sections of the bill, we have a problem with one section.

“Taking the issue of cross referencing to the level of the national assembly doing a shoddy job, we don’t have any business being there if the bill is not worthy of consideration.”

Not ready to let go of the matter, the host of the town hall meeting, Seun Okinbaloye, countered the Senator, saying “It is not only one drafting error, I have 10… 17; I can pass it on to you.”

At this point, a visibly angry and agitated Basiru replied that the errors the host is referring to are not present in the copy of the bill with him and challenged the host and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to make public the version of the bill with errors and not make unfounded allegations against the institution of the National Assembly.

He said: “The errors you are referring to are not in the copy of the bill that I have. I disagree. I totally disagree that there is error. The copy of the bill the senate passed has no error. Let them [CSOs] bring the source from where they got their errors.”

“You cannot come on national television and undermine the institution of the national assembly without facts and figures,” he added.

“I challenge you. Which copy are you using? Who issued it to be the public document? This is a serious matter and I have to take it up.”