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Electoral Bill: Buhari Seeks INEC’s Opinion On Direct Primaries, Others



President Muhammadu Buhari has sought the advice of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the recently passed Electoral Bill. recalls that the National Assembly had passed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill on November 9, 2021, and forwarded it to President Buhari for assent.

The Senate and House of Representatives had earlier passed different versions of the bill, and a conference committee was set up to harmonise both bills.

But according to The PUNCH, a source in INEC said the President has written a letter to the chairman of the electoral body, Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu, asking for his view regarding the direct primaries and other contents in the bill.

The source said the commission would only state its views on the merits and demerits of the bill and allow the President to decide.

He, however, said the President has given INEC seven days to respond to the letter.

We received a letter from the President last week regarding INEC’s position on the Electoral Act amendment, especially as regards the controversial direct primaries which many governors have kicked against. We are supposed to respond within seven days. I know that a response will be sent to the President anytime from now.

Also speaking, another INEC official said that the National Assembly only discussed the electronic transmission of results and other issues with INEC but never talked about the controversial direct primaries.

During the amendment of the Electoral Act, we met with the National Assembly but the issue of the direct primary was never discussed. We discussed the electronic transmission of results, electronic voting, Diaspora voting and other issues. It was at the point of the adoption of the report that the direct primary was added to the bill.

“So, INEC was never given a chance to present its position. What the President has done now is to get our position on the matter. The truth is that if INEC cannot undertake the direct primaries, it will make the law useless,” he said.

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