INEC undermines legislative powers of National Assembly

  • Cultivates culture of lawlessness, impunity

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), is on the path of undermining the legislative powers of the National Assembly as the Commission has shown disposition to disregarding the amendment of the Electoral Act by the two Chambers of the federal legislature.

INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, at the quarterly consultative meeting with the media in Abuja, on Monday, had insisted that the 2019 Presidential and the National Assembly elections will hold first. Then, the governorship and state legislative elections will come next.

The chairman had maintained that the commission continues preparations for elections relying on its own schedule since it could not make plans based on speculations.

According to him, “There are many ‘ifs’ but here, we deal with certainty. As far as the commission is concerned, there is no legal lacuna at the moment. What we have done is on the basis of the existing law and nothing has changed.

“If the bill is accented to, we will look at the provisions and inform Nigerians on the next step. But as far as the commission is concerned at the moment, we are operating under the existing law and we have issued a timetable for the activities accordingly.

“If something happens tomorrow, we will examine it and proceed accordingly.

“Right now, the draft is on my table based on the current schedule of activities. Thereafter, we will submit it to the approving authorities.”

INEC had at the passage of the amendment Act vowed to comply with the new law only if President Muhammadu Buhari accents to it.

The commission failed to release that the president’s refusal to sign an Act of parliament into law does not end the legislative process. The legislature can recall such law and commence another constitutional process, thereafter, if the constitutional requirements are met and the law is passed, it does not require the signatory of the president and the law stands.

Presently, INEC may be breeding executive lawlessness in this circumstance. The commission could at best challenge the amendment in the court of law rather than being a power unto itself.

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