A human rights lawyer, Olisa Agbakoba, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to assent the Electoral Act (Amendment) bill passed about three months ago by the National Assembly.
In a letter on Wednesday, Mr Agbakoba said signing the bill into law would enable the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), political parties and the courts “discharge their responsibilities effectively.”
“We are concerned that the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 has not been signed into law 3 months into the general election inspite of the fact that it has long been transmitted by the National Assembly,” the lawyer wrote.
“The Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 is the legal regime for the 2019 election. It is therefore important that every person is familiar with its provisions.
“If you recall, the late signing of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2015 created so much confusion and resulted in widespread electoral malpractices. If you also recall, the late signing resulted in conflicting decisions in the courts, especially on the use of card readers.
“The Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018 was passed by the National Assembly to address all the challenges created by the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2015. It is therefore important that you sign into law, the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018.
“This will enable INEC, political parties and the courts discharge their responsibilities effectively.
“Please accept assurances of our highest regards.