Buhari declines assent to Electoral Amendment Bill 2018

(FILES) This file photo taken on December 13, 2016 shows Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari arriving at a hotel in Banjul to meet with Gambian president-elect with three other African heads of state. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari's 100-day-long overseas medical trip is stoking tensions in the country, as calls grown for him to either return or resign, AFP reports on August 16, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SEYLLOU

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday declined assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill 2018 recently passed by the National Assembly.

The bill provides for the Presidential election to come last after National Assembly and Governorship elections.

Buhari notified the Senate about his action in a letter dated March 3, 2018, which was read by the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki during plenary.

The presidents said he withheld his assent to the bill because the amendment to the sequence of the elections in Section 25 of the Principal Act might infringe upon the constitutionally guaranteed discretion of INEC.

He stated that the section guaranteed the INEC to organise, undertake and supervise all the elections as provided in Section 15 (a) of the Third Schedule to the Constitution.

“The amendment to Section 138 of the Principal Act to delete two crucial grounds upon which an election may be challenged by candidates, unduly limits rights of candidates in elections to a free and fair electoral review process.

“The amendment to section 152 (325) of the Principal Act may raise constitutional issues over the competence of the National Assembly to legislate over Local Government elections.

“Please accept Mr Senate President the assurances of my highest consideration,” the president stated.