Electoral Bill: Buhari Will Inform NASS Of His Decision, Says Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari will inform his decision of whether or not to sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

A file photo of Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu
A file photo of Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu


President Muhammadu Buhari will inform the National Assembly of his decision on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, a presidential spokesperson has said.

The much-anticipated bill which was passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on November 6 empowered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to transmit results electronically.

Constitutionally, the President is expected to sign or withhold his assent to it within 30 days which elapsed on Sunday; Buhari is yet to indicate his decision on the proposed legislation.

But speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said his principal owes no obligation to make his decision public despite the provision of the constitution.

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“The President will be communicating with the National Assembly whenever he decides whether yes or no. I am not in a position to tell you ‘yes or no’. Given the way things are done, the President would have completed his consultation,” the presidential spokesman said.

“And as I said, it would be disrespectful of the National Assembly, for me at this time, to say this is the content of the president’s communication, assuming that the communication has been sent to them. So as I said, allow them to resume, I believe that the president will not act in breach of the Constitution. No, he will do what is right.

“The constitution says the president must sign within 30 days, the constitution did not say that there should be the disclosure of that decision within 30 days to the public when the disclosure to the National Assembly has been made.”

Members of the National Assembly are expected to resume plenary on Tuesday and embark on the Christmas and New Year break soon after.

Also speaking, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said President Buhari does not have any excuse for not signing the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

He argued that contrary to claims that the President is holding back due to the quagmire over direct and indirect primaries as embedded in the bill, the main issue remains the electronic transmission of results.

“The ruling party in their conspiracy is trying to deceive Nigerians that the mere inclusion of the direct primaries in the electoral act amendment bill is the problem why the President does not want to sign or why he has refused to sign.

“The major issue is the transmission, the electronic transmission of results,” Wike asserted.

The governor added that because there are opportunities for clauses in a bill to be further amended, the President has no excuse why he could not have signed the bill and called for sections to be revisited.