PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has returned to the National Assembly, the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018.
Presidential Liaison to the President on National Assembly (Senate), Ita Enang, told State House correspondents in Abuja on Friday, that the president had communicated his decision on the bill to the lawmakers.
Even though the presidential aide declined to reveal the decision, the return of the bill to the lawmakers suggests a decline of president assent to the bill.
President Buhari had already refused assent to the bill on the grounds that there are aspects he is not quite comfortable with.
Consequently, the National Assembly had re-worked the bill but apparently to no avail.
Enang explained that the President had taken his decision in accordance with his power under the 1999 Constitution and has communicated the decision to the Senate and House of Representatives in accordance with the law.
Asked whether the bill was assented or rejected, he insisted: “The President has taken a decision in accordance with the powers vested in him according to the constitution. And by convention, that decision contained in the communication can only be revealed by the person to whom that decision is addressed. But the electoral bill has left Mr President because he has taken a decision and has remitted it back.”
Pressed to make a categorical statement, he further said: “Thank You very much but this is all the law allows me to say by convention. Mr President has sent that communication to the National Assembly.”
When asked why Buhari returned the bill back to NASS Enang said: “The president has communicated his decision to the National Assembly and that is what it is now.”
When asked if it is safe to say he rejected the bill, the presidential aide stated that “it is safe to say that the president has taken a decision as allowed by law and has communicated that decision to the Senate and the House of Representatives.”
When asked about the implication of the decision on the 2019 elections, Enang said, “The implication of the decision is that the president has taken action on the bill within the time allowed by law.”
However, he said Buhari has assented to National Open University Amendment Act, which allows the National Open University to operate like all other universities, having the same power and functions and the same administrative structures eliminating possible discrimination as some use to want to have on its products and programmes.
It has also allowed the establishment of some centres to be called study centres and given conditions for the establishment of such study centres.
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