After 6 Years Of Attempts, President Buhari Finally Sign Electoral Act Amendment Bill, 2022, Into Law


Nigeria President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), after several attempts made by the National Assembly, has finally signed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022, into law.

The Bill was signed at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, on Friday, 25th of February, 2022.

In his address, President Buhari said that, in line with the established tradition, he had received inputs from relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, after careful and thorough reviews of the Bill and its implications to democratic processes in Nigeria.

He reiterated that, It was gratifying to note that, the current bill comes with a great deal of improvement from the previous electoral bill, 2021.

He asserted that, there were salient and praiseworthy provisions that could positively revolutionize elections in Nigeria through the introduction of new technological innovations,

He added that, those innovations would guarantee the constitutional rights of citizens to vote and to do so effectively.

According to him, the bill would also improve and engender clarity, effectiveness and transparency of the election process, as well as, reduce the barest minimum incidences of acrimony arising from dissatisfied candidates and political parties.

He reconfirmed that, commendable efforts were in line with the policy to bequeath posterity and landmark legal framework that would pave the way for credible and sound electoral process that, all Nigerians would all be proud of.

President Buhari informed all distinguished Senators and Honourable Members of the National Assembly, from the review, noting that, it was his perspective that, the substance of the amendment bill was both reformative and progressive.

He also made a bold declaration, regarding the great potentials of the bill, that were worthy of note, which included, the democratic efficacy of the bill with particular reference to sections 3, 9(2), 34, 41, 47, 84(9), (10) and (11) among others.

The President disclosed that, section 84 (12) constituted a disenfranchisement of serving Political Office Holders from voting or being voted for at conventions or congresses of any political party, for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election in cases where it held earlier than 30 days to the National Election.

He added that, the provision had introduced qualification and disqualification criteria that ultra vires the constitution, by way of importing blanket restriction and disqualification to serving Political Office Holders of which they were constitutionally accorded protection.

Speaking further, President Buhari reassured that, the practical application of section 84(12) of the electoral bill, 2022, would, if assented to, by operation of law, subject, serving Political Office Holders to inhibitions and restrictions referred to under section 40 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.

According to him, the only constitutional expectation placed on serving Political Office Holders that qualify, by extension as Public Officers within the context of the constitution was resignation, withdrawal or retirement at least 30 days before the date of the election.

President Buhari however reiterated that, it would be stretching things beyond the constitutional limit to import extraneous restriction into the constitution on account of practical application of section 84(12) of the bill where political parties’ conventions and congresses were to hold earlier than 30 days to the election.

The President confirmed that, from the foregoing, with particular regards to the benefits of the bill, industry, time, resources and energy committed in its passage, assented to the bill and requested the Nationally Assembly to consider immediate amendments that would bring the bill in tune with constitutionality by way of deleting section 84(12) accordingly.

The Nigeria Vice President; Professor Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President; Ahmed Lawan, and Speaker of the House of Representatives; Femi Gbajabiamila, were present to witness the signing of the Bill.


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