Senate rejects Buhari’s request to amend Electoral Act

The Nigerian Senate has rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request that it deletes a specific clause in the Electoral Act, which he believes disenfranchises political appointees.

TheCornet reports that the President had said he assented to then Electoral Act Amendment Bill despite its “defect”, referring to Section 84 (12) as contained therein.

The President of Senate, Ahmed Lawan on Wednesday called for the second reading of President Buhari’s proposed amendment.

But, before that was done, Senator Adamu Aliero raised a point of order and cited Order 52(5) of Senate rules. The rule forbids the Senate from deliberating a bill that has become a subject of litigation until such is set aside.

Commenting on the order, Senator Lawan insisted that President’s request was in order and could be considered.

“So for us to be specific to this particular request, the request was duly done and it is for us in the Senate to look at the request.

“We are at liberty to review the request, see if the arguments from the Executive are convincing enough. If the arguments are not convincing enough, members of the National Assembly could deny the request and that is how it is,” Lawan said.

Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, deputy president of Senate, in his contribution urged the Senate to consider the bill for second reading regardless of the pending suit. But, Senator Smart Adeyemi opposed him, and so did the Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe.

Following the debate, the Senate President decided to put the matter to a voice vote, which turned out to show  those opposed to the bill being read a second time being in the majority.

The bill was eventually defeated.


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