Electoral Act: Reps move to override Buhari’s veto on statutory delegates

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By Disun Amosun

House of Representatives plans to consider ways of further amending the Electoral laws to remove delegate-voting as an option in party primaries, even if it means overriding the President’s veto on the matter.

The House took the decision yesterday following a point of order raised on the floor of the House by Rep Rowland Igbakpa (PDP, Delta) based on Constitutional Provisions empowering the House to veto the President should he refuse to assent to Bills forwarded to him after a period of time and without giving acceptable reasons for withholding assent.

He noted that if the House had stood its ground by not including indirect voting as an acceptable option in the conduct of party primaries, rather than pandering to the President’s wish, the primaries’ outcomes would have been more acceptable to the general party membership.

Rep. Igbakpa, citing section 84, sub section 8 of the Constitution (as amended) as basis of his point of order implored the 9th Assembly, especially the Speaker to jealously guard the Independence of the Legislature, even if it meant overusing the President’s veto.

The Speaker, Femi Gbajaamila who on Tuesday had blamed the indirect process used in party primary voting for the high rate of 9th Assembly members not securing their return tickets, asked Rep Igbakpa to bring up the matters of further amendment in the electoral law and overriding the President’s veto in the form of a motion to be discussed as early as possible.

The Speaker emphasized the need for synergy among members if the authority of the Legislature as an independent arm of government must be maintained, adding that such a crucial step cannot be taken on mere voice vote or division of the House.