President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to refuse assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021 has been criticised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
NBA President Olumide Akpata issued a statement on December 22 calling the President’s action “unfortunate but unsurprising.”
He noted that the President was just exercising a constitutionally permitted prerogative within the broader context of the rule of law, which the NBA stands for, by refusing to sign the bill.
The union, according to Akpata, was not convinced that President Buhari acted in good faith in exercising his veto powers in this case.
Given the bill’s importance, he believes the Executive will be more closely involved in the legislative process as it progresses through the various legislative phases in both houses of the National Assembly.
“But the decision to sit back and watch the National Assembly pass the bill with the supposedly unworkable direct primaries provision did not do justice to the President’s mandate,” the lawyer said