Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected the amended timetable for the 2019 elections. President Buhari’s rejection was contained in a letter read on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 on the floor of the senate chamber by Senate President Bukola Saraki. Some senators had earlier rejected the amended timetable believing that President Buhari is the target. In the letter, the president said amending section 25 of the electoral act would infringe on the “constitutionally guaranteed discretion” of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to organise, undertake and supervise elections.
“Pursuant to Section 58(4) of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), I hereby convey to the senate, my decision, on 3rd March 2018, to decline presidential assent to the electoral amendment bill 2018 recently passed by the national assembly”. “Some of my reasons include the following -the amendment to the sequence of elections in Section 25 of the principal act, may infringe upon the constitutionally guaranteed discretion of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to organize, undertake and supervise elections provided in Section 15(A) of the third statue to the constitution. “The amendment to section 138 of the principal act to delete two crucial grounds upon which an election may be challenged by candidates, unduly limits the rights of candidates in elections to a free and fair electoral review process; “The amendment to section 152 subsection 325 of the principal act may raise constitutional issues over the competence of the national assembly to legislate over local government elections”.