SENATOR AGEGE DEFENDS BUHARI’S REFUSAL TO SIGN ELECTORAL BILL, CITES ECOWAS PROTOCOL

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Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta Central) stated the ECOWAS Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance forbids President Muhammadu Buhari from signing the Electoral Bill.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker gave this perception in a telephone interview with newsmen in Abuja on Friday evening.
Article 2 of the protocol forbids member international locations from making “substantial modification” to their electoral legal guidelines lower than six months to elections “except with the consent of a majority of political actors”.

Omo-Agege, who’s a staunch supporter of the President, famous that with the elections lower than three months away, signing the invoice would violate the ECOWAS instrument.

NAN studies that the presidential and National Assembly elections are slated for Feb. 16, 2019, whereas these of governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections will maintain on March 2.

Omo-Agege stated, “I’ve but to see the president’s letter to the Senate, however this invoice means a lot to Mr President. On a great day he would wish to signal it.

“However, with out even seeing the explanations he has superior to date, I’m conscious of the challenges posed by the ECOWAS protocol.

“I don’t know if that is part of the reasons he has advanced, but with the bill coming two months or thereabout before the election, assenting to it will breach the protocol.”

Newsmen report that Buhari didn’t point out the ECOWAS instrument as a part of his causes for declining assent to the invoice for the fourth time.

The president’s newest determination got here in a letter dated Dec. 6, 2018 and addressed to each chambers of the National Assembly.

He stated signing the modification invoice with elections shut by might “create some uncertainty about the legislation to govern the process”.

“Any real or apparent change to the rules this close to the elections may provide an opportunity for disruption and confusion in respect of which law governs the electoral process,” he acknowledged.

On the opposite, Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi, who represents Delta North on the platform of the principle opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stated the explanations given by the president had been “untenable”.

“It isn’t a great cause for him to not signal the invoice as a result of the Senate labored with INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) in making ready that invoice.

“If INEC felt in any other case, they might have suggested us once we had been engaged on it.

“You are conscious of the controversy that this difficulty of modification of the act has generated, with individuals accusing the Senate of not desirous to amend the act.

“We amended it, however he declined assent the primary, second and third time; he made sure observations, which we agreed with.

“We sent it again, and the reason he is giving now is that it will disrupt the election. It is really unfortunate,” he stated.

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