Wednesday, January 26th, 2022

Electoral Act Amendment bill: Senate draws the battle line.

Electoral Act Amendment bill: Senate draws the battle line.

Senators have threatened to override the veto of president Muhammadu Buhari, over his refusal to assent the Electoral Act Amendment bill. The decision was taken by the Senate, after the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan read the President’s letter. The letter stated why he the president is  holding back his approval to Electoral Act Bill.  President

Senators have threatened to override the veto of president Muhammadu Buhari, over his refusal to assent the Electoral Act Amendment bill. The decision was taken by the Senate, after the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan read the President’s letter. The letter stated why he the president is  holding back his approval to Electoral Act Bill. 

President Muhammadu Buhari, in the letter addressed both the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan and the Speaker to the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, saying he refused assent for the reason of the mandatory direct primaries.

The President further explained, spotlighting the disadvantages of the mandatory direct primaries which includes financial, legal, economic and security distress.

Senator George Sekibo, who is a representative of Rivers East, pushed a point, telling the chamber to go behind closed doors to press further on the issue after the letter was read by the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan.  The closed session thus commenced and lasted for 40 minutes.

Senator George Sekibo, who is a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, also said, that the Senate adjourned plenary to enable members to override the President. According to him. “By law, we have the power to override him. That’s what Section 58 (4 & 5) said. We will use our powers to do it. And they are saying that people must be present at voting. Our rule gives us three methods of voting: voice vote, by signing the document (signature) and electronic voting. So, we can use anyone.  We collected signatures in the chamber and it cuts across party lines.”

“A constitutional amendment is a modification of the constitution of a polity, organization or other type of entity. Amendments are often interwoven into the relevant sections of an existing constitution, directly altering the text. Conversely, they can be appended to the constitution as supplemental additions (codicils), thus changing the frame of government without altering the existing text of the document. Most constitutions require that amendments cannot be enacted unless they have passed a special procedure that is more stringent than that required of ordinary legislation. Examples of such special procedures include supermajorities in the legislature, or direct approval by the electorate in a referendum, or even a combination of two or more different special procedures. A referendum to amend the constitution may also be triggered in some jurisdictions by popular initiative.” This section is culled from WIKIPEDIA.

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