Senate passes Electoral Act Amendment bill


Nigerian Senate has passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill for third reading after President Muhammadu Buhari on three occasions withheld his assent to the bill.

The bill was passed after the adoption of the report by the joint Senate and House of Representatives committee‎ on the bill, which was presented the Chairman, Senate Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission, Senator Suleiman Nazif.

Buhari after declining to sign the bill the third time said he declined to sign the bill due to “some drafting issues” that remain unaddressed following the prior revisions to the Bill.

Ita Enang, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), said, “Mr President is declining assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill due to some drafting issues that remain unaddressed following the prior revisions to the Bill.

“Mr President invites the Senate and House of Representatives to address these issues as quickly as possible so that he may grant assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill.’’

Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmoud Yakubu, said the bill would not be used for the February 2019 general elections, unless it was signed into law at least six months before the election.

The committee had addressed the issues raised by the President in a harmonised, fourth version‎ of the bill.

President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, maintained that Buhari would assent the bill when transmitted by the National Assembly.

The House of Representatives has also scheduled a third reading of the bill for Tuesday.

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