The House of Representatives has vowed to reintroduce the Electoral Act Amendment Bill that President Muhammadu Buhari declined assent to towards the end of his first term in office. Reps.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Electoral Matters, Aisha Dukku, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the inaugural meeting of the committee, where she stressed the need to reintroduce the bill in order to ensure that important amendments that would improve the country’s electoral process are done. Reps.
She reminded the committee members that during the life span of the eighth Assembly, 12 bills seeking to amend the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 and the Electoral (amendment) Act 2015 sponsored by members of the House were referred to the committee after subsequent second reading for further legislative action.
Dukku stressed that as both the 1999 Constitution and the 2010 Electoral Act (as amended) regulate the conduct of elections in Nigeria, as it was anticipated that the committee’s report on the aforesaid amendment bills, which she said was an infusion of its input and recommendations from various stakeholders would further strengthen and deliver on such expectations. Reps.
The chairman noted that following in-depth reviews, the committee made recommendations to the House on numerous amendments of the Electoral Act for approval, and the report was submitted and adopted on December 7, 2017. She explained that the National Assembly passed the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill 2018 and forwarded same to the president for his assent pursuant to section 58 (4) of the 1999 Constitution amended, but the president however declined assent due to some lacuna or drafting issues in some of the clauses of the bill, and advised that those observations be addressed. Reps.
The committee chairman said the president’s observations were accordingly addressed, and the bill was again passed in December 2018 and later in April 2019 following another decline to assent by the president inter alia. She stated that: “As it stands, the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill is still hanging; hence there is need for this committee to bring it up because there are several important amendments that will improve our electoral process.