Electoral act amendment bill still under scrutiny, says Ita Enang

Ita Enang, senior special assistant to the president on national assembly matters, says the final copy of the electoral act amendment bill is being “scrutinised thoroughly” by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Enang dismissed the allegation that the president has refused to sign the bill, saying “there is no cause for alarm”.

The bill was transmitted to the president for assent on August 2, after the corrected version was passed by the national assembly on July 24.

The president has 30 days from the date of receipt to assent to or decline the bill.

“We will do the needful before the bill expires,” he said.

“The final clean copy of the bill which was received by President Muhamamdu Buhari on the 2nd of August, 2018, is still undergoing thorough scrutiny by the president.

“Mr President has not vetoed the bill. What some people are not aware of was that when the second copy was received after the initial rejection, it was discovered that there were typographical errors which the national assembly needed to correct and they did it and sent it back on the 24th of July and this is still being studied before presidential assent.

“It is good for people to cross check their facts first before feeding the public with the wrong information. As you know, the president embarked on a 10-day leave soon after we submitted the bill to him, so we should wait.”

The bill contains relevant provisions that are expected to guide the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the conduct of elections.

Mahmoud Yakubu, chairman of INEC, had said the bill will not be used for the 2019 poll unless it is signed into law six months prior.