President Muhammadu Buhari has dared the National Assembly by declining assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018, citing constitutional breaches in some of the actions of the lawmakers in the adjustment process.
But in the reordered sequence in the amended Electoral Act, which is now tearing the National Assembly and the Presidency apart, the National Assembly election comes first, followed by governorship and state assemblies, and the Presidential comes last.
A source close to the Senate said that the apex chamber would be in a better position to take decision on the matter after being properly guided by legal experts.
The decision to overrule the president was announced Wednesday by the House spokesperson, Abdulrazak Namdas.
The president had yesterday communicated to the National Assembly his decision to withhold assent to the bill.
Others include: bill to establish the Chattered Institute if Treasury Management; Nigerian Council for Social Work; Curenfy Conversion (freezing orders) to give discretionary powers to the Judge of a High Court to order forfeiture of assets of affected persons and for related matters; establish Police Procurement Fund for procurement of law enforcement equipments and uniforms to assist the Nigerian Police Force in the protection of lives and property as well as bill for the establishment of Chartered institute of Loan and Risk Management of Nigeria to provide for the control and risk management in Nigeria.
INEC wants the presidential election to hold first, whereas the National Assembly has passed a bill, awaiting assent by President Muhammadu Buhari, for the election of the president to hold last.
Also included are a bill for an act to establish the Chartered Institute of Exports and Community Brokers of Nigeria and a bill for an act to establish the Federal University, Wukari.
"We therefore urge the representatives of the people at the National Assembly to immediately invoke their constitutional powers and veto the President's assent to move the country forward on the path of true democracy".
The House requires 240 members to make up its two-thirds, while the 109-member Senate requires 73 members to veto the president's assent.
"The amendments to section 152 (3-5) of the Principal Act, which raises constitutional issue over the competence of the National Assembly to legislate over local government elections".
Regarding the bill on the amendment of the electoral act which Buhari also rejected, Namdas said the lawmakers will address areas of the bill the president disagreed with and re-introduce it for passage.
But speaking last Monday while declaring open a public hearing on the bill seeking to establish the National Electoral Offences Commission, the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, represented by the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na'allah, said: "Of recent, there have been arguments on who has power to do what".
"We will then bring it back for debate and re-transmit it to the president for assent".