By David Oputah –
SAN FRANCISCO, March 13, (THEWILL) – President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected the Amended Electoral Bill sent for his signature by the National Assembly.
The bill provides for the Presidential election to come last after National Assembly and Governorship elections while the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) put the presidential election as the first to be held during the general election.
Buhari notified the Senate about his action in a letter dated March 3, 2018, which was read by the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki during plenary on Tuesday.
The president said he withheld his assent to the bill because the amendment to the sequence of the elections in Section 25 of the Principal Act might infringe upon the constitutionally guaranteed discretion of INEC.
He stated that the section guaranteed INEC the powers to organise, undertake and supervise all the elections as provided in Section 15 (a) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution.
“The amendment to Section 138 of the Principal Act to delete two crucial grounds upon which an election may be challenged by candidates, unduly limits rights of candidates in elections to a free and fair electoral review process,” he stated.
“The amendment to section 152 (325) of the Principal Act may raise constitutional issues over the competence of the National Assembly to legislate over Local Government elections.
“Please accept Mr Senate President the assurances of my highest consideration