Buhari writes Reps, requests amendment of Electoral Act

Abuja—President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday wrote the House of Representatives, seeking amendment to the Electoral Act he recently assented to.

Specifically, the President is requesting that section 84 (12) of the Act, which prescribes resignation of appointees of government seeking to run for political office 30 days before the convention of any political party.

The sections states:  “No political appointee at any level shall be voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”

While assenting to the bill on February 25, 2022, President Buhari noted that the section was inconsistent with a relevant section of the constitution.

“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.

“Others he said were; 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 practical application of section 84(12) of the bill,’’ Buhari had said.

In his letter to the House on the amendment read by the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, at  plenary, the President urged the House to amend the Act to make it consistent with the constitution.

It would be recalled that a Federal High Court in Abuja had on Monday, March 7, 2022, gave an order barring the federal government and the National Assembly from tampering with the Act.

The court held that it behoved the parties to test the validity or otherwise of the existing laws in court.

While reading the letter, a lawmaker, Herma Hembe (APC-Benue), reminded the speaker of the court ruling to which the speaker said he was aware.


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