President Muhammadu Buhari will attend to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill before the expiration of the 30 days constitutional provision, the presidency has assured.Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said the presidency “will do the needful before the bill expires.”
The bill was transmitted to the president for assent on Thursday, August 2, 2018 after the National Assembly passed the corrected version on July 24, and the president had on two occasions withheld his assent to the bill.
Enang, who stated this at the Presidential Villa, while responding to allegations recently that the president refused to sign the bill into law, explained that the presidency was studying it. He refuted reports that the presidency had vetoed the proposed law, saying the final clean copy of the bill, which was received by President Buhari on the August 2, was still undergoing scrutiny by the president.
“Mr. President has not vetoed the bill. What some people are not aware of was that when the second copy was received after the initial rejection, typographical errors were discovered, which the National Assembly needed to correct. They did and sent it back on July 24. This is still being studied before presidential assent,” he said.
The clarification came amid claims that the president had again vetoed the bill.He said: “It is good for people to cross-check their facts to avoid feeding the public with wrong information. The president embarked on a 10-day leave soon after we submitted the bill to him, so we should wait.”
Indications are rife that the National Assembly may override Buhari’s veto if he fails to either append his signature on the bill or return the proposed law to the parliament, as the 30 days the president has either to assent or decline to the bill expires on Sunday.
Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmoud Yakubu, had declared that 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 bill contains relevant provisions that are expected to guide INEC in the conduct of the 2019 elections.