- Nigeria's president has rejected the Electoral Act Amendment Bill passed to him by the National Assembly for assent
- President Muhammadu Buhari urged the lawmakers of the National Assembly to make some corrections and return the bill for him for passage
- The president in a letter to the Senate leadership cited the cost of direct primaries, security challenges among others as his major reasons for not signing the bill into law
President Muhammadu Buhari has returned the controversial Electoral Act Amendment Bill to the National Assembly.
In a letter sent to the lawmakers, the president asked that the National Assembly expunge the clause that has to do with director primaries from the amendment bill.
The Punch reports that the president urged the lawmakers to expunge that aspect from the bill and return to him for assent.
Full text of Buhari’s letter informing National Assembly of his refusal to sign Electoral Act Amendment Bill
Garba Shehu, the president's special adviser on media and publicity confirmed that the letter has been sent to the National Assembly.
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Also, sources privy to the content of the letter said President Buhari refused to assent to the bill due to some political dust raised by the bill.
The source said the president had argued that political parties operating across the country already have their constitutions that outlined the mode for primaries.
He said the president had said that it would be unconstitutional to force political parties to adopt direct primaries ahead of elections in the country.
High cost of conducting direct primaries, others
ThisDay also reports that President Buhari in his letter to the Senate president cited the high cost of conducting direct primaries, security challenges, violation of citizens' rights among other things as reasons for rejecting the bill.
The president also said in the letter that he received informed advice from all the relevant agencies that would be affected or have anything to do with the amendment of the bill.
INEC sends an important message to President Buhari over Electoral Act Amendment Bill
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has replied to Buhari’s letter on some grey areas in the bill transmitted to him by the National Assembly.
According to sources, INEC claims the bill contains substantial provisions that would lay a solid foundation for important improvements in the electoral process.
The electoral umpire says the bill is capable of deepening public trust, public confidence and overall credibility of the elections and the electoral process.
Femi Falana accuses APC governors of prevailing against Buhari assent to the bill
Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have been accused of influencing the decision of the president the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.
Femi Falana (SAN) said the governors do not want the president to assent to the bill which has since been passed by the National Assembly.
According to Falana, the governors are aware that manipulation of election results would be difficult with the provision of electronic voting on the new bill.