Wike: Buhari lacks power to seek amendment of Electoral Act

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Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, has argued that President Muhammadu Buhari lacks the power to write the National Assembly seeking an amendment of the Electoral Act.

Wike particularly alleged that the recent letter Buhari sent to the National Assembly praying the amendment of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022, was done in bad faith.

He said the President had no power to determine whether the section would disenfranchise serving political office holders and to suggest that it was in conflict with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Wike in a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Media, Kelvin Ebiri, insisted that by faulting Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, the President was usurping the power the judiciary to interpret the law.

He said: “Unfortunately, what we have today is where the executive arm has taken the position and the role of the judiciary of interpreting the law. The legislature said this is what it has done. It is not the duty of Mr. President to interpret that Act. The duty of Mr. President is to assent to the bill, let those who are affected, if at all, go to the court.”

Wike described the recent passage of the bill granting full financial and administrative autonomy to the local government by the National Assembly as a welcome development.

He explained that as a former chairman of a local government and National President of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) , he was in support of autonomy of the third tier of government.

Wike said though the 1999 constitution did not in clear terms define the independence of the local government, he had always advocated financial and administrative autonomy of the third tier.

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