Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress
The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, has said that it is the prerogative of President Muhammadu Buhari to either accent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill or not, while admitting that the constitutional timeline expires on Sunday, December 19.
Malami, who spoke on the controversy that has trailed the bill since it was transmitted to the President by the National Assembly three weeks ago, said his office had officially written its legal opinion to President Buhari on the Bill and the onus was on the President to either sign the Bill into law or not.
While fielding questions from journalists on Saturday through his Special Adviser on Media and Public Relations, Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Malami said though it was premature of him to comment on a process involving official communication between the office of the President and the office of the Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice without allowing the conclusion of the adminsitration cycle, the general public would be adequately and timely informed by the Office of the President on the decision.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives had deliberated extensively on the report of the Conference Committee on the bill.
The Senate had also passed the harmonised version of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021, following the consideration of the report of the conference committee of the Senate and House of Representatives on the bill.
Constitutionally, President Buhari has till Sunday to either assent to the Bill or not, and in the event he refuses, the National Assembly may decide to exercise its veto power to transmute the Bill into law.
But the general feeling in the country is that the National Assembly may not want to exercise its veto power over the contentious Bill so as not to jeopardize its relationship with the Executive.