The President Muhammadu Buhari has written a letter to the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, seeking comments from INEC over the Electoral Act amendment bill which was passed by the National Assembly on November 9, 2021.
Buhari, who received the bill on November 19, has until December 19 to sign it or communicate to the National Assembly his feelings and comments about the bill.
But if after 30 days, the President refuses to sign the bill and the National Assembly is not in support of the President’s amendments, the Senate and the House of Representatives can recall the bill and pass it. If the bill is passed in the form it was sent to the President by two-thirds majority votes in both chambers, the bill automatically becomes a law even without the signature of the President.
It was gathered that President saw no problem with the bill but was seeking advice from INEC and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
A top INEC source said, “We received a letter from the President last week regarding INEC’s position on the Electoral Act amendment especially as regards the controversial direct primaries which many governors have kicked against. We are supposed to respond within seven days. I know that a response will be sent to the President anytime from now.”
When asked if INEC would endorse the direct primaries, the source said the commission would only indicate its position on the merits and demerits of the bill and let the President decide.