President Muhammadu Buhari has for the fourth time declined assent to the revised Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018, transmitting same back to the National Assembly.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, made this known to State House correspondents Friday, without stating the specific decision of his principal on the document.
Asked whether the bill was assented or rejected, Enang simply said “the president has taken a decision in a accordance with the powers vested in him according to the constitution. And by convention that decision contained in the communication can only be revealed by the person to whom that decision is addressed. But the electoral bill has left Mr. President because he has taken a decision and has remitted it back.”
Pressed further, Enang said, “Thank You very much but this is all the law allows me to say by convention. Mr. President has sent that communication to the National Assembly.”
When asked why he returned the bill back to National Assembly, he said, “the president has communicated his decision to the National Assembly and that is what it is now.”
When asked if it is safe to say he rejected the bill, “it is safe to say that the president has taken decision as allowed by law and has communicated that decision to the senate and the House of Representatives.”
When asked the implication of the decision on the 2019 elections, Enang said, “The implication of the decision is that the president has taken action on the bill within the time allowed by law.”
The President had while rejecting the bill before now cited “drafting issues”.
The presidential aide went on to disclose that his principal had assented to the amendment made to the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN, Act, which will now allow it to operate like other universities.
“Again, President Buhari has also assented to National Open University Amendment Act, which allows the National Open University to operate as all other universities, having the same power and functions and the same administrative structures, eliminating possible discrimination as some use to want to have on their products and programmes.
“It has also allowed the establishment of some centers to be called study centers and given conditions for the establishment of such study centers,” he said.