Sunday, October 2, 2022

Electoral Act: Judiciary Can’t Stop Amendement – Senate Pres Ahmad Lawan

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Following a ruling by the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking the President Muhammadu Buhari, alongside the Attorney General of the Federation, the National Assembly and the Independent National Electoral Commission not to tamper with the Electoral Act, which, according to the ruling, has now become a law, the Nigerian Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has issued a statement saying that the judiciary could not prevent the National Assembly from amending the Electoral Act. Ahmed Lawan on Electoral Act

The statement, signed by the Special Assistant (Press) to the Senate President, Dr. Ezrel Tabiowo, read: “President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said that the ruling by the Federal High Court in Abuja, won’t stop the National Assembly from amending the Electoral Act.

“The court in a ruling delivered on Monday by Inyang Ekwo, on an ex parte application by the Peoples Democratic Party, barred President Muhammadu Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Senate President from tampering with the newly amended Electoral Act 2022.
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“The Court maintained that the Electoral Act having become a valid law could not be altered without following the due process of law.

“President Buhari, in a letter dated February 28, 2022, requested the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act.

“He drew the attention of chamber to the provisions of Section 84(12), which, according to him, constitutes a ‘defect’ that is in conflict with extant Constitutional provisions.

“The Senate President, while reacting to the ruling by the Federal High Court after the Electoral Act Amendment Bill scaled first reading during plenary, on Tuesday, said same violated the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) on Separation of Powers.

“Lawan said, ‘I find it necessary to talk to this at this point, because our governance system is based on the Presidential system of government where there is clear cut separation and exercise of powers.

“‘The Judiciary, under no circumstance cannot stop the National Assembly from performing its legislative duties.

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“‘We know what our due processes are, just like we wouldn’t venture into what the Judiciary does, it should also understand that we have our processes.

“‘If the President writes to the National Assembly to request for an amendment, that is within his competence, and it is for the National Assembly to decide whether it agrees with the request of Mr. President or not.

“‘But to say that we cannot consider it, is to ask for what is not there to be given. I believe that Members of this National Assembly know their work and will do what is right.
READ ALSO: Court Restrains Buhari, NASS From Further Amendment To Electoral Act 2022

“‘This is due process, we are not doing anything outside of the law, whether it is Mr. President or any Nigerian who feels very strongly about an amendment, this National Assembly is ready to take in and consider.

“‘It is within our exclusive right to consider whatever request we receive from Nigerians, whether through the Executive arm of government or through our colleagues – private members’ bill.’”

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