The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has urged the National Assembly to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto on the Electoral Amendment bill.
The NBA had issued this statement a few days before Mr Buhari in a letter to the National Assembly on Tuesday, declined assent to the bill.
The bill contains novel provisions such as direct primaries for political parties and electronic transmission of election results.
But Mr Buhari cited “logistical, security and funding issues”, among others as his basis for rejecting mandatory direct primaries, which is just a part of the amendments.
But earlier, rising from its National Executive Committee (NEC) held in Abeokuta, Ogun State, on December 16, the NBA had advised Mr Buhari to sign the bill into law.
The body just released the communique on Wednesday.
“NEC called on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, to speedily sign the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill into law before the timeline expires and where he fails to do so, charged the National Assembly to exercise its powers under the Constitution by overriding the presidential veto,” the NEC resolution issued on Wednesday by Olumide Akpata, NBA’s national president read.
Deteriorating security situation
In its response to the widespread security crises in Nigeria, the umbrella body of lawyers called on the “Federal Government and security agencies to carry out their primary constitutional duty to ensure the safety of life and property.”
The NBA expressed “deep sadness over the deteriorating of national security,” referencing “the precarious security situation in Zamfara State,” which it said had become a “real threat to legal practice in the State.”
A couple of days ago, armed bandits killed over 40 farmers in Nasarawa State, a North-central state adjoining the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.