The House of Senate on Wednesday rejected the request of President Muhammadu Buhari to amend section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act. However, this is not the first time the President will be seeking an amendment to the bill. The Senate and several lawmakers spoke against the request of the president to amend section 84
The House of Senate on Wednesday rejected the request of President Muhammadu Buhari to amend section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act. However, this is not the first time the President will be seeking an amendment to the bill.
The Senate and several lawmakers spoke against the request of the president to amend section 84 (12) of the electoral act stating the Senate should follow the court ruling, which halted the National Assembly from tampering with the bill.
Will the electoral act be amended?
The president had written to the National Assembly last week demanding that the federal lawmakers amend the electoral act by expunging section 84 (12) stating it constitutes a defect.
Section 84 (12) states “No political appointee at any level shall be voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”
However, a Federal High Court in Abuja had prohibited the president and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), and the Senate from expunging clauses in the electoral act.
It must be noted that the President, the AGF, and the National Assembly have been prohibited from tampering with section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act or putting a stop to it not to be implemented for the purpose of the 2023 elections.
With the new development, the senate president had condemned the court ruling stating it violated the provisions of the 1999 constitution (as amended) on Separation of powers.
According to Ahmed Lawal, “So for us to be specific to this particular request, the request was duly done and it is for us in the Senate to look at the request.
We are at liberty to review the request, see if the arguments from the Executive are convincing enough. If the arguments are not convincing enough, members of the National Assembly could deny the request and that is how it is.
I think we are not breaching any law. In fact, we are trying to promote democracy by doing this because one day someone would go to court and say the Senate and National Assembly should not sit.” He added.
PDP sue FG over the electoral act.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is not silent on the president’s request as they have sued the federal government, the Attorney-General of the Federation, and the leadership of the National Assembly over moves to expunge clause 84 (12) of the electoral act.
However, the People’s Democratic Party requested an order of interim injunction prohibiting the president and others from refusing to implement the electoral act or retaining the electoral act from being put to use.
It must be noted that the president had earlier vetoed the bill demanding consensus mode of which the National Assembly and the Senate amended the harmonized version of the bill which includes clause 84, the direct, indirect, and the consensus modes.