House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has said the Electoral Act Amendment Bill did not pass because most of the provisions were targeted at President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Speaker stated this yesterday in his Abuja office when he hosted a team from the Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), led by its Executive Director, Clement Nwankwo.
He said: “On the issue of reordering of elections, for instance, we felt it was targeted at the sitting President. You can’t do laws to target somebody. There was also the issue of who has the right to reorder elections. There were arguments that the Constitution says the Independent National Electoral Election (INEC) should do that.
Gbajabiamila, who said the two chambers of the National Assembly were in the hands of the opposition at the time, added that there were a lot of “surreptitious moves” in the attempt to amend the Electoral Law.
“Where in the world are the two chambers (of Parliament) headed by the opposition?” he asked.
The Speaker said the House would revisit the amendment of the Electoral Act, that of the Constitution, the NGO Regulatory Bill and others.
He also said the House would give attention to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB), the Police Reform Bill, the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) amendment bill, among others.
This time round, the National Assembly would ensure a thorough work, which will ensure that the President assents to the bills, unlike what happened during the last Assembly, where the constitutional and Electoral Act amendment bills were rejected by the President, Gbajabiamila said.
He said: “The roles of the CSOs are not in doubt. We all know what your roles are anywhere in the world. You’ve enumerated quite a number of bills. As you know, the Ninth House is a House of reforms. We’re going to be doing all that.
“You did talk about pending legislation, such as the electoral laws. We’re on the same page on this. We can’t move forward if we don’t understand the history and circumstances that led to the inability to do some things.
“On the issue of Police Reform Bill, we’ll look at it once again. On National Assembly Budget and Research Office (NABRO) Bill, we will also look at it. The PIGB, the CAMA Bill and the rest, we’ll work on them and get them to the president for his assent,” he said.