Electoral Amendment Bill: Lawmaker Says Over 73 Senators Ready to Override Buhari’s Veto

Electoral Amendment Bill: Lawmaker Says Over 73 Senators Ready to Override Buhari’s Veto

  • President Muhammadu Buhari's decision not to sign the Electoral Amendment Bill may not have any significance after all
  • If the words of Senator George Sekibo are anything to go by, the president might be vetoed by the National Assembly
  • Sekibo stated that 73 senators across party divided has already made their commitment to override the president on the bill

National Assembly - Senator George Sekibo who represents River East senatorial district has declared that 73 senators have indicated interest to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

Sekibo who is a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said signatures have been collected from the senators willing to override the president, and the signatures cut across party lines.

President Buhari
President Buhari had rejected the bill based on the direct primary clause. Photo credit: Aso Rock Villa
Source: Facebook

He made this known in an interview with Channels Television at the close of plenary on Tuesday, December 21.

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He said:

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“Why will Mr. President say he doesn’t want direct primaries? The country is not his limited liability company. This is a country and this is a chamber. So the Senate ought to override him.
“By the law, we have the power to override him, in Section 58(4) and (5) of the Constitution. So, if the Constitution gives us the power to do so, we will use our powers to do it…Yes, we are compiling signatures. We have gotten more than 73 persons prepared to override the veto. it cuts across party lines.”

The Senate will need at least two-thirds of its 109 members to vote in support of overriding the president’s veto if the matter is put to vote.

The 73 senators Senator Sekibo talked about make up the exact number that is required although he did not provide the names of the signatories.

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Sekibo had earlier in the day interrupted proceedings and asked that the Senate proceed into a closed-door session to discuss the president’s veto.

The lawmaker had raised a point of order stating the urgency of the Senate to make a decision on the matter before proceeding on the Christmas holiday.

His words:

“It is my opinion that the Senate dissolves into a closed-door session and discuss it so that we can take appropriate decision on it before we go for our Christmas break.
“So, I submit that the Senate - before we take the budget - dissolves into committee of the whole in closed session to discuss it and take a decision.”

Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa asks National Assembly to override Buhari on electoral bill

Sharing his thoughts on the issue, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa said the National Assembly should suspend its recess to override presidential assent on Electoral Bill

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Writing on his Facebook page, he stated that there are many innovative provisions in the Bill that makes it attractive as a tool to oil Nigeria's democratic experiment, especially the issues of electronic transmission of election results and direct primaries for the political parties.

CSOs urge National Assembly members to override Buhari on electoral bill

Recall that nine prominent Civil Society Organisations, CSOs recently expressed their disappointment at the failure of President Buhari to sign the Electoral Amendment Bill 2021.

The CSOs in a statement sent to Legit.ng stated that the withholding of assent by the president undermines public confidence and trust in Nigeria's electoral system.

They further warned that the president’s decision will have serious implications for INEC as it prepares for the FCT Area Council election, the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections, and ultimately the 2023 general elections.

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How Kwankwaso predicted that Buhari won't sign Electoral Act amendment bill

Earlier, former Kano state governor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, predicted that President Buhari won't sign the Electoral Act amendment bill.

Kwankwaso alleged that some state governors pressured the president not to sign the bill because of the provision for direct primary.

He said though the direct primary option is better, governors do not want it because it makes them less powerful in the scheme of things.

Source: Legit.ng

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