Electoral Act: Senate fails to veto Buhari’s decision, reveals next line of action

December 22, 2021
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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said the Senate would consult with the House of Representatives on how to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill.

Lawan disclosed this after the Senate rose from a closed session to deliberate on the President’s decision to withhold assent to the electoral bill passed by the National Assembly.

He disclosed that the 1999 Constitution does not permit the Senate to exclusively take any action on such matters without the House of Representatives since the latter was on recess.

A statement by Lawan’s spokesman, Ezrel Tabiowo, quoted the Senate President as assuring that the Upper Chamber would meet with the House of Representatives before taking a joint position.

He also said Nigerians would be consulted before determining the appropriate line of action in January.

According to Lawan: “The Senate in a closed session deliberated on matters relevant to the workings of the Senate in particular and, the National Assembly in general.

“The Senate also in the closed session discussed how to respond to the letter from Mr President on the electoral bill amendment.

“The Senate consequently resolved to consult with the House of Representatives in January when both the Senate and House will be in session.

“Presently, the House of Reps has gone or recess and like we all know, the constitutional provision is for the Senate and House of Representatives to jointly take the appropriate action.

“The Senate also resolved to consult with our constituents during our recess in January.

“The Senate believes that our constituents have a role to play as the major stakeholders in the laws that we make in the National Assembly.”

Buhari, in the letter dated December 13, 2021, had withheld assent to the electoral bill.

The president had cited advice from Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government as a reason for rejecting the bill.

Buhari also said signing the bill would have serious legal, financial, economic and security consequences on the country.

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