The Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill was yesterday transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent by the Clerk to the National Assembly.
In an issued statement yesterday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare, said authenticated copies of the Bill were transmitted to the Executive.
He confirmed, in the statement, that Clerk to the National Assembly, Arc. Amos Olatunde Ojo, released the copies before they were forwarded to the Executive.
The transmission, he said, is in pursuance of Section 58 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the Acts Authentication Act Cap. A2 LFN 2004.
“Mr. President had withheld assent to the Electoral Bill 2021 transmitted to him on 19th November 2021. The Electoral Bill was thereafter reworked by the National Assembly and both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the same on 25th January 2022”, the statement read.
It is however uncertain if the President would assent to the reworked Bill.
This is coming amidst reports that the Governors are not being happy with the new amends, and planning to prevail on the President to not assent to it.
Recall that President Buhari withheld assent to the earlier passed Bill, citing some concerns which were eventually addressed by the Legislature.
The transmission of the Bill comes a week after both the Senate and House of Representatives made final changes to the legislation.
The lawmakers amended the controversial Clause 84 of the Bill, which deals with the mode of primary election to be used by political parties to select candidates for elective offices.
In the former version of the Bill passed by the National Assembly, the lawmakers prescribed that political parties use only the direct mode of primaries.
However, President Buhari declined assent, citing insecurity, the cost of conducting direct primaries and infringement on the rights of Nigerians to participate in governance as his reasons.
He also assured that he will sign the Bill if changes are made to the Clause to include the addition of consensus candidates and indirect primary options to the mode of selecting a candidate for an election.
Last week, both chambers amended the Bill to allow parties to adopt direct or indirect primaries, or consensus, as procedures for selecting candidates for elective offices.
With the revised version of the Bill now sent to the president for assent, he is expected to sign the legislation within 30 days according to the 1999 Constitution.