Electoral Bill: Senate in closed-door session after Buhari declined assent

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The Senate was in a closed-door session on Tuesday, a day after reports emerged that President Muhammadu Buhari had declined assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill. 

The lawmakers are discussing President Buhari’s letter to them in which he explained his refusal to sign the bill. Senate President Ahmad Lawan also read the President’s letter during the plenary session on Tuesday. After the closed-door session, Lawan quoted Buhari as saying that he declined assent over the direct primaries clause.

He said the President reached the decision having received strong advice and carefully reviewed the bill and in light of present realities. Direct primaries, Buhari’s letter read, will have serious adverse legal and financial consequences which cannot be accommodated just as the clause will have implications on the right of citizens to take part in governance.

The upper chamber’s move followed earlier indications that Buhari had declined assent to the bill citing the direct primaries clause in the Electoral Amendment Act.

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