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

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Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta Central) said 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 notion in a phone interview with newsmen in Abuja on Friday night.
Article 2 of the protocol forbids member worldwide areas from making “substantial modification” to their electoral authorized pointers decrease 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, well-known that with the elections decrease than three months away, signing the bill would violate the ECOWAS instrument.

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

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Omo-Agege said, “I’ve however to see the president’s letter to the Senate, nonetheless this bill means loads to Mr President. On an awesome day he would want to sign it.

“However, with out even seeing the reasons he has superior up to now, I’m aware 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 did not level out the ECOWAS instrument as part of his causes for declining assent to the bill for the fourth time.

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The president’s latest willpower bought right here in a letter dated Dec. 6, 2018 and addressed to every chambers of the National Assembly.

He said signing the modification bill with elections shut by may “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 alternative, Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi, who represents Delta North on the platform of the precept opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said the reasons given by the president had been “untenable”.

“It is not an awesome trigger for him to not sign the bill because of the Senate labored with INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) in preparing that bill.

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“If INEC felt in another case, they could have recommended us as soon as we had been engaged on it.

“You are aware of the controversy that this issue of modification of the act has generated, with people accusing the Senate of not wanting to amend the act.

“We amended it, nonetheless he declined assent the first, second and third time; he made positive 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 said.

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