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Buhari still consulting Malami, others on Electoral Bill -Presidency

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Buhari still consulting Malami, others on Electoral Bill -Presidency

Muhammadu Buhari

Presidency said on Thursday that President Muhammadu Buhari is still being consulted by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and other critical individuals and groups on the re-amended 2010 Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2022.
National Assembly had on November 19transmitted the bill to President Buhari for assent in pursuance of Section 58 (3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, but he withheld assent on account of mandatory direct primaries recommended for political parties without any other options.
The piece of legislation was thereafter reworked by both chambers of the National Assembly -the Senate and the House of Representatives and passed same on January 25, 2022 while it was sent back to the President on January 31 through the Clerk to the National Assembly, CNA, Amos Olatunde Ojo.
Speaking at a policy dialogue organised by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, NILDS in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant on
National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare informed that the President is receiving consultations from Malami and others on way forward.
“A very crucial consultation is going on between Mr. President, the Attorney General and other critical stakeholders on content of the bill for the required assent.
“If not for this programme, I suppose to be at the very important meeting, believed to be the major determinant for the fate of the bill,” Omoworare said.
He, however, assured Nigerians that the bill will most likely be assented to by the President since issues earlier raised by him in the 2021 edition, were elaborately addressed by both chambers of the National Assembly last month.
“Personally, I think in few days time, Mr. President will do the needful since the most contentious aspect of the bill had been addressed in the reworked one transmitted to him on Monday, January 31, 2022.
“Time as it is, is of essence, but I believe that Mr. President will do the needful,” he assured.
This was confirmed by the Attorney General of the Federation, who sent message that his planned consultation with President Buhari prevented him from attending the programme
Earlier, the Director General of NILDS, Professor Abubakar Sulaiman, said the policy dialogue was convened in gaining insights from stakeholders into the issues likely to shape the conduct of political parties, political gladiators ,contestants and other issues.
Discussants at the dialogue from the former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega; Country Representative of Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Adebowale Olorunmola and the chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Media, Hon Benjamin Kalu, appealed to President Buhari to assent the bill without further delay.
According to Jega, no law or  legislation is perfect but what is available now is good and manageable for the coming elections.
But the representative of INEC at the discourse, Professor Bolade Eyinla said to avoid the problem of working on electoral laws at the tail end of conducting elections, the electoral umpire should be allowed to drive the process as being done in Ghana.
“The situation at hand now is that roughly a year to general election, the anticipated laws are not yet approved, meaning that the extant one will be used aside the fact that the process has not enable INEC to come up with clear cut guidelines for conduct of the elections,”  he lamented.
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Buhari still consulting Malami, others on Electoral Bill -Presidency

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