Members of the senate are yet to deliberate on the content of President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter conveying his decision to reject amendment to the Electoral Act, senate spokesperson, Aliyu Abdullahi has said.
In a letter read at the Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday, Mr. Buhari stated amongst other reasons that the amendments infringe on the rights of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Mr. Abdullahi while fielding questions from journalists after plenary said the letter will, like other communications from the president, pass through laid down legislative processes.
“If I’m speaking on behalf of the senate and the senate has not discussed an issue, is it fair for me to speak on that?
“Yes the letter has been read and definitely this is not the first time letters coming from Mr. President would be read. It’s just the same normal communication from Mr. President and all communication from Mr. President will definitely go through the same legislative processes. Which means we have received it now, it’s for us to look at it.
“The Peace Corps came, the same thing. All of it is going to receive attention and senators and members of House of Reps as the case may be will begin to look at it because it’s a document coming to the National Assembly. Remember if we pass a bill for third reading, as long as the House of Reps has a similar thing and they’ve not concurred, we can’t start talking about the next stage.
“So, what we have here clearly is a letter coming back to us, it has been read, it’s going to be approved tomorrow in the votes and proceedings and when it is approved, subsequently if there is going to be any action we’ll tell you what the actions are going to be.”
The electoral act as amended by the lawmakers would have changed the order of the 2019 elections. The lawmakers wanted their election first, followed by those of state lawmakers and governorship; with the presidential election coming last.
Critics, including some lawmakers, had alleged that the move was targeted at President Buhari.
With the president’s decision, the senators will have to either let the old electoral act remain or override the president’s veto.