The procedure for the exercise of the law making powers conferred on the National Assembly by section 4 of the Constitution is further spelt out under section 58 in relation to all kinds of bills. Bills cover most general government policies meant to be translated into laws. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in providing the route to the exercise of these powers is tailored around the principles of separation of power and envisages a situation where each arm of the government, in good faith, acts as a check on the other, to ensure effective and healthy governance.
This research is necessitated by the recent refusal of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria to grant assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018. Notably, this refusal would make it the 4th (fourth) time this particular Bill was rejected by His Excellency. Though we could not place our hands on the exact number of Bills to which the President has refused assent within the three years he has been in office, our research finds that as at October 2018, the National Assembly had to raise a panel to consider 16 Bills rejected and returned to it. Report also shows that in November, the Chief Justice of Nigeria was invited by the National Assembly to help consider 17 other Bills rejected by the President.The 2018 Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill which is our major concern here, like other Bills had successfully passed through the legislative processes required of the National Assembly and was successfully transmitted to the President for assent. The President’s veto was communicated to the National Assembly via a letter addressed to the respective Chambers, dated the 6th Day of December, 2018.
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