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National Assembly sends revised Electoral Act bill to Buhari

National Assembly sends revised Electoral Act bill to Buhari

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Leke Baiyewu, Abuja

The National Assembly has transmitted the revised Electoral Act Amendment Bill to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent, The PUNCH learnt on Monday.

The President had refused to sign the first version of the bill into law.

A source in the National Assembly disclosed to journalists in Abuja that the bill was transmitted last week.

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The source said, “The amended Electoral Act has been transmitted to Mr President since Monday last week. He has it now. The National Assembly is expecting him to quickly assent to it because of the deadline for such amendment ahead of the 2019 general elections.”

The legislature had on June 7, 2018 passed the revised version of the bill, expunging the controversial clauses, including the one that re-ordered general elections sequence.

On June 7, 2018, while adopting the report by the Senate Committee on INEC, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over the session, noted that the controversial clauses in the bill had been pulled out of the new version.

Ekweremadu said, “Before we go into the consideration, let me quickly make some quick clarifications. One is that when we passed the Electoral Act earlier in the year, the President returned it with observations.

“From the report we have here, it means that those areas that appear to be controversial or where the President had some issues, no matter how we feel, whether we like it or not, whether we believe in what he said or not, that is not the issue now; what is important now is that to save the other provisions (clauses), our committee resolved to remove those aspects. They may come up maybe some other time but for now, they are not part of this process. That has been removed to make the rest non-controversial.”

Ekweremadu said the amendment would enhance the credibility of the 2019 general elections. He also expressed the hope that INEC, politicians and the electorate would find the amendments useful.

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“We hope and believe that within a short period, the President will find it necessary to sign this bill into law,” he had said.

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