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Electoral Act amendment will die natural death, says Senator

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Electoral Act amendment will die natural death, says Senator

Unread postby Wsj » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:52 am

The amended Electoral Act which places Senatorial and House of Representatives polls first in the sequence of elections will die a natural death, Senate Committee on Police Affairs Chairman Senator Abu Ibrahim said yesterday.

The Katsina South senator also said President Muhammadu Buhari would not assent to the bill when it gets to him.

Ibrahim was one of the nine senators who walked out of the Senate chamber on Wednesday following the adoption of the conference report which endorsed the alteration of the elections sequence. The report was prepared by a committee comprising members of both chambers.

Section 25(i) of the amendment which placed the National Assembly polls first in the sequence of elections sparked a row in the Senate on Wednesday.

The amendment also provides that governorship and Houses of Assembly elections should follow the National Assembly polls; the presidential election comes last.

Ibrahim described the amendment as unconstitutional especially when Section 76 of the Constitution is clear on who should fix elections.

He said the conference committee wrongly believed that there was an amendment to the Constitution which gave them power to change the sequence of elections.

The amendment, he said, was never signed into law.

Ibrahim said the Senate’s adoption of the conference report was an “effort in futility”, adding: “the amendment cannot stand and the President will not sign it.”

He went on: “When it comes back to us, it will die a natural death.”

The senator said the National Assembly had no right to usurp the powers of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under the Constitution to fix elections.

Ibrahim claimed that the amendment was never discussed in the Senate, saying it came from the House of Representatives for the concurrence of the upper chamber.

He said: “President Buhari is an institution. We will not add anything to his electoral value. Some senators do not even appreciate the fact that they will be in more danger with their governors if they stand election alone. Some senators may have problem with their governors but you are arming the governor to attack you if you stand election alone. You will spend more and be on your own.

credit: the nation

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