Nigeria’s House of Reps Speaker Hints National Assembly May Allow Executive Veto on Electoral Act Bill
Lawmakers in Nigeria have continued to show that they are incapable of defending the laws they make.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Thursday described the process of overriding President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill the National Assembly passed, which the president has refused to sign, that as difficult.
Already, Senate president, Ahmed Lawan, has indicated that the upper legislative chambers had caved in the executive veto.
Gbajabiamila said the decision on whether or not to override the president would be decided by the whole parliamentarians.
He spoke in Lagos at the commissioning of various projects in his Surulere constituency.
Speaking with newsmen, Gbajabiamila said after recess, the House would determine if the reasons given by the President for declining assent to the Bill were convincing.
Gbajabiamila also recalled that he initiated the amendment Bill especially the introduction of direct primaries to deepen participatory democracy.
He said, “There’s a process and I believe the President did it with all good intentions and advice that he got, he weighed everything carefully, he listens to people who he has employed to advise him and I guess they advised him against the amendment.”
“So there’s a process like I said and we would run back to the House to determine if those reasons sit down well with the National Assembly and which case we would at that point consider removing that Clause and passing the bill, but then it’s not my decision to make, it’s the decision of the whole National Assembly, if they decide the reason is not good enough then there is a process which is described in the constitution.
“I can’t read the minds of the National Assembly. We need two-thirds, veto is not something you easily override, if that is done we will take away the clause and pass the Bill so Nigerians can enjoy a credible electoral process they deserve.”
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