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Electoral Amendment Act: Lawmakers Have Right To Override President Buhari’s Decision, Says Atunwa

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Justice, Mr. AbdulRazak Atunwa (APC kwara State), has challenged the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to withhold assent to the electoral ammedment act.

The amendment act provides that election into the National Assembly will come first, followed by the State Governors and Houses of Assembly and the Presidential election to come last.

Reacting to the President’s letter conveying his decision not to assent to the amendment, said the President has every right to withhold assent to any bill, but the lawmakers have the right as well to override the President’s decision.

“I listened to the letter read that the President has declined to assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill 2018, it is within the President’s power not to assent to or reject bill passed by National Assembly.

On what is equally too is that while he has that power, the National Assembly also has a power to override such rejection by the President,Mr. Atunwa stressed.

The lawmaker said their decision on the matter will be in the best interest of the Nation having the representatives of the over 180million Nigeria.

However, for the override decision to hold sway two third majority of the members of each chamber must be met, which according to Mr. Atunwa will demand legal advice to arrive at.

He said “Beyond the legalistic view, what is the political will to do one thing or the other?

For me that’s the most important thing whether the two-third of the entire house or two-third of those sitting is secondary.

The primary thing is what do we as a house wanted to do about it? And you know that this house largely move together once we decided on the course of action. So, issue of two-third even if it is a higher number, two-third of the entire house is not a difficult number to arrive at.

Because we would have sat down as a team as one group united for the common purpose of bringing legislation for the good governance of Nigeria. We would have decided that in principle, once we decided that in Principle two-third majority of the entire house is not a difficult thing.”

 

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