There has been intrigue in the Senate lately over its decision to join forces with the House of Representatives on overriding President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto to the amendment to the Electoral Act, says a report. Currently, about 46 senators were said to have have signed in on a plot to scuttle the effort to override the president’s veto. The Nation claimed to be in the know of the signature collation aimed at defeating the two-third vote required to topple the president’s veto and pass the amendment into law.
The report also said similar scenario is playing out in the House of Reps, whereby about 180 members are being sourced to back President Buhari’s veto.
A ranking senator the report quoted under the guise of anonymity said the move was “to protect the larger interest of Nigerians” because such “amendments can derail preparations for the 2019 general election”.
The said senator allegedly said further: “In exercising his constitutional power to veto a bill, the President has raised three issues on the amendments to the Electoral Act, including the Order of Elections.
“In fact, the House of Representatives admitted that two of the issues were fundamental, leaving only the Order of Elections.
“So far, from the signatures collected, we are 46 senators backing the veto. We may be in the minority out of 109 senators but our figure is significant because to override a veto by the President, the Senate needs the consent of 73 senators.
“With 46 senators on our side, those for the overriding of the veto will end up being either 63 or 62 depending on the disposition of the President of the Senate.”
Moreover, another unnamed senator in the same report said senators backing the president would “call for a division in the Senate in line with the rules” any time a decision is to be taken on the contentious matter.
A concurrence legislation by both houses of the National Assembly had changed the order in which elections will be conducted in 2019, putting the presidential election at the last.
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