Buhari commits to sign Electoral Act Bill before deadline

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday allayed fears over the Electoral Act Bill confirming that he would assent to the bill.

The Bill was transmitted to the President for his assent on August 2, after the corrected version was passed by the National Assembly on July 24.

There is a 30-day constitutional provision for the Presidential to assent.

The 30 days expires on Sunday.

If the President fails to assent the bill or returns it to the parliament at the end of the 30 days, the National Assembly may override his veto.

But the Presidency is sure that it will not get to that level.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said: “We will do the needful before the Bill expires.”

Enang, who recently dismissed the allegation that the President again refused to sign the bill, explained that it was being studied by the President’s team.

He had said: “The final clean copy of the Bill which was received by President Muhamamdu Buhari on the 2nd of August, 2018, is still undergoing thorough 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, it was discovered that there were typographical errors which the National Assembly needed to correct and they did it and sent it back on the 24th of July and this is still being studied before presidential assent.”

Enang added: “It is good for people to cross check their facts first before feeding the public with the wrong information. As you know, the President embarked on a 10-day leave soon after we submitted the Bill to him, so we should wait.”

Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman Mahmoud Yakubu had declared that the Bill will not be used for the 2019 February general election 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.

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