•••Commended Supreme court
After admitting their error in certain sections of the amended Electoral Act 2022, Senate President Ahmad Lawan said on Tuesday that the act will face further amendment to address weaknesses identified in the law
Lawan stated this at plenary, following a matter of National importance brought by Sen.Yahaya Abdullahi (PDP-Kebbi), in reaction to the recent supreme court judgement on the Act
The senate president described the judgment by the Supreme Court on Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act as a landmark judgment that vindicates the National Assembly, adding that further amendment of the Act would strengthen it ahead of the 2023 general elections.
“Let me say that this is one major landmark judgment by the Supreme Court, that the National Assembly had done their job and the court upheld it.
“The idea of what method of primaries should be adopted at the moment is entirely left for the political parties to decide.
“But as we implement the electoral act 2022, we are supposed to be very observant of the strengths and weaknesses of the law.
“This law is supposed to improve on the electoral processes and procedures in our country.
“So, it is for us to ensure that where there are weaknesses, we try to come up with measures, amendments to deal with the issues of weaknesses in the law.
“I have no doubt in my mind that all of us in the National Assembly, not only in the Senate, but in the House as well, feel that we must do everything and everything possible to make this electoral act serve the purpose for which it was passed and assented to.
“Therefore, I believe that we should work tirelessly to take note of those areas that we feel are not strong enough – that are weak points in the law – with a view to strengthening them before we finally take our exit in 2023.”
Earlier, senator Abdullahi in his presentation lauded the Ninth Assembly for resisting the pressure from the executive to amend section 84(12) of Electoral Act 2022.
He described the Supreme Court verdict was a major victory towards true democratic governance anchored on the rule of law.
“In my view, the Supreme Court verdict should be celebrated for the following reasons.
” It restored and anchors the power of making laws to the National Assembly, and establishes a principle that once the President accents to a Bill he/she can’t approbate and reprobate, i.e. he/she cannot go to the courts to amend/reject the Bill in part or in whole”, he said.
Abdullahi, however, emphasised the need to amend the electoral act to revert to the direct mode of primaries.
“As the political process towards 2023 unfolds, the National Assembly needs to be observant of the loopholes and weaknesses of the 2022 Electoral Act.
“So that a comprehensive assessment is undertaken to provide adequate grounds for making amendments to the Act before the end of the term of office of the ninth Assembly in May 2023”, he said