The National Assembly, yesterday, transmitted the reworked Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare, made this known via a statement he personally signed after the transmission.
The statement, titled, ‘Transmission of the Electoral Bill 2022,’ reads: “The Clerk to the National Assembly, Mr. Olatunde Amos Ojo, has transmitted the authenticated copies of the Electoral Bill 2022 to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, on January 31, 2022.
“This was done in accordance with the provisions of Section 58 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and the Acts Authentication Act Cap. A2 LFN 2004.
“Mr. President had withheld assent to the Electoral Bill 2021 transmitted to him on November 19, 2021. The electoral bill was thereafter reworked by the National Assembly and both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed the same on January 25, 2022.”
The parliament had since Tuesday, last week, amended the electoral bill for the second time by concurring on consensus candidacy and setting fresh conditions for political parties in the nomination of candidates for elections.
The President had, last year, vetoed the electoral bill and sent it back to the National Assembly over the restriction of political parties to direct primary, insisting on direct or indirect.
The House had amended Clause Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010, which is Clause 84 of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, by inserting the indirect primary option.
The Senate, however, not only added indirect primary but also consensus adoption of candidates for elections by a political party.
By passing different amendments to the bill, the Senate and the House were expected to refer the versions to a conference committee to harmonise the differences and report back for final passage and transmission to the President for assent.
However, both the Senate and the House of Representatives, last week, took a shorter route by rescinding their decisions on the amendments, last week, and re-amending the electoral bill.
This time, the House concurred with the Senate on the consensus, while both chambers passed the same conditions set for the option.