The Nigerian Senate is set to humiliate president Muhammadu Buhari by overriding his veto on the bill, which seeks to reorder the sequence of elections after it emerged on Thursday that the Red Chamber has been advised to ignore the reasons given by Mr. Buhari for not signing the Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill passed by the National Assembly.
Based on the advice from the Senate’s Legal Department, the upper chamber would proceed with the process to set aside the President’s veto on the bill.
The lawyers said while the President claimed that the amendment introducing a specific sequence for elections under Section 25 of the Principal Act 2010 infringed on the discretion of INEC to “organise, undertake and supervise elections,” the section cited by Buhari had been amended.
According to them, the correct legal position is in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 First Alteration Act 2010, Act No. 1, “specifically Section 5 which provides that ‘Section 76 of the Principal Act is altered thus…(a) Subsection (1) Line 2, by inserting immediately after the word ‘commission’ the words ‘in accordance with the Electoral Act.’”
“From the above amendment, it is crystal clear that the power to regulate the principal elements of all federal electoral process were expressly, by the above amendment, removed from the Independent National Electoral Commission and vested in the National Assembly, which has the power to pass laws for ‘peace, order and good government’ of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or any part thereof,” the senate lawyers argued.
Meanwhile, Buhari on Thursday night met in vain behind closed doors Presidential Villa, Abuja with the leadership of the National Assembly. Sources said that the president had sought peaceful resolution to the controversial amendment to the Electoral Act and the Peace Corps Bill..
Also the delay in passing the 2018 Budget was said to have been discussed. It is understood that no agreement was reached on the issues.
Those who attended the meeting from the National Assembly are the Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; his deputy, Lasun Yusuf; Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan; House Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila; Senator Sola Adeyeye, Philip Adudu, House Chief Whip, Al-Hassan Dogowa, and Deputy Whip, Pally Iriase.
Buhari was joined by his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina; Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu and Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang.