Buhari asks NASS to review Section 84 of newly signed Electoral law immediately

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President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, signed the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2022 into law but not without expressing another reservation about the new electoral law.

The president while assenting the Bill at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, demanded an immediate review of Section 84 (12) of the law, which borders on the resignation of political appointees before seeking elective offices.

The President said the provision of the section in question is at variance with the provisions of the 1999 constitution (as amended).

Buhari, however, acknowledged that the latest version of the Bill was a great improvement from the earlier version, which he withheld assent in November 2021, explaining that in line with established tradition, he received inputs from relevant ministries, departments and agencies of government after careful and thorough reviews of the Bill and its implications to democratic processes in Nigeria.

“The practical application of section 84(12) of the Electoral Bill, 2022 will, if assented to, by operation of law, subject serving political office holders to inhibitions and restrictions referred to under section 40 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“It is imperative to note that the only constitutional expectation placed on serving political office holders that qualify, by extension as public officers within the context of the constitution is resignation, withdrawal or retirement at least 30 days before the date of the election.

“Hence, it will be stretching things beyond the constitutional limit to import extraneous restriction into the constitution on account of the practical application of section 84(12) of the bill where political parties’ conventions and congresses were to hold earlier than 30 days to the election.

“Arising from the foregoing, with particular regards to the benefits of the Bill, industry, time, resources and energy committed in its passage, I hereby assent to the Bill and request the Nationally Assembly to consider immediate amendments that will bring the Bill in tune with constitutionality by way of deleting section 84(12) accordingly,” the president said.

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