Buhari writes Senate, seeks amendment of Section 84 (12) in Electoral Act

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday wrote to the Senate seeking the lawmakers to take another look at Section 84 of the Electoral Act which he recently signed into law.

The President in a letter addressed to the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and read at the Plenary asked the Federal Parliament to consider the outright deletion of Section 84 (12).

The said section directs public officials seeking elective offices in elections to resign their positions ahead of the election.

Specifically, President Buhari wants the National Assembly to amend section 84 (2) Subsection 12 which states that no political appointee shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of any candidate for an election.

In the letter, he said the amendment is necessary as the clause constitutes a fundamental defect and leads to the disenfranchisement of political officeholders.

President Buhari February 25 signed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law. During the signing, he faulted Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The President said he believes the provision, as contained in the newly signed Act, constitutes a fundamental defect as it conflicts with extant constitutional provisions.

In his view, the section disenfranchises serving political office holders from voting or being voted for at conventions or congresses of any political party, for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election in cases where it holds earlier than 30 days to the national election.

President Buhari stressed that the provision introduced qualification and disqualification criteria that ultra vires the Constitution by way of importing blanket restrictions to serving political officeholders.

He also added that the provision amounted to the disenfranchisement of political appointees.

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