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General News of Wednesday, 9 March 2022

Source: www.mynigeria.com

Senate throws out Buhari’s Electoral Bill

Nigerian Senate Nigerian Senate

The Senate during its sitting on Wednesday threw out President Muhammdu Buhari’s Bill seeking to amend the Electoral Act, 2022.

The Bill titled: “A Bill for an Act to amend the Electoral Act 2022 and for related matters, 2022,” was rejected by Senators. This led to the halt of its second reading.

On Tuesday the Bill scaled the first reading despite a court order barring the Senate from acting on it.

Below is a publication cited on thenationonlineng.net;

Senate President Ahmad Lawan had challenged the Court order saying that the Judiciary cannot in any circumstances stop the Legislature from performing its constitutional duties.

The court, in a ruling delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, on an ex-parte application by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), barred President Muhammadu Buhari, Attorney-General of the Federation and the Senate President from tampering with the newly amended Electoral Act 2022.

The Court maintained that the Electoral Act 2022, having become a valid law could not be altered without following the due process of law.

Before the Senate commenced consideration of the Bill on Wednesday, Senator Adamu Aliero had while citing order 52(5) of the Senate Standing Rules, urged the Senate President to jettison any proposed action on the Bill.

Lawan was however adamant. He reiterated his position that only senators may reject the Bill and not the judiciary seeking to stop the chamber from performing its lawful duties through an order.

Senators however voted overwhelmingly against the Bill to stop it from being read a second time.

The move to reject the Bill was signaled by a call from Senator Aliero for it to be stepped down after the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, moved a motion for the bill to be read a second time.

Aliero, who came under a point of Order, drew the attention of his colleagues to the provision of Rule 52(5) of of the Senate Standing Order.

Order 52(5) provides: “Reference shall not be made to any matter on which a judicial decision is pending, in such a way as might in the opinion of the President of the Senate prejudice the interest of parties thereto.”

The Kebbi Central Lawmaker advised the upper chamber to step down consideration of the bill pending the vacation of an order made by the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday.

According to Aliero, going ahead with the amendment of the Act was in clear conflict with the sub judice rule in law which prevents the legislature from deliberating or considering any matter already before a court of competent jurisdiction.

“Going ahead to consider the bill obviously will mean that we are disrespecting that order, and this is an institution of the Senate – the symbol of Nigeria’s lawmaking body.

“We should not be seen to be disobeying the court order. No matter how bad that court order is, we should respect it.

“So, I’m of the opinion that we should stop considering this bill pending the time the court set aside that order, and I think I’m speaking the opinion of my colleagues here”, Aliero said.

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