Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation has intimated that President Muhammadu Buhari may refuse to sign the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill if it contains suggestions based on personal interests.
According to the minister, the bill was only sent to him on Monday for legal opinion after the National Assembly forwarded it to the Presidency for the second time on Monday last week.
Malami stated this while speaking on Channels Television's Politics Today, a current affairs program that our journalists watched on Monday.
Buhari had withheld assent to the first version of the bill last year after consulting the Malami and the Independent National Electoral Commission, among others, on the bill.
When asked if he was satisfied with the amendments made to the bill by the National Assembly after Buhari sent it back to the parliament, Malami said, “In terms of satisfaction, honestly, it is premature for me to conclude, taking into consideration (that) I can admit to you that the electoral bill was only received in my office this afternoon as I was preparing to come over for this engagement with Channels TV.
I am working for the advancement of democracy, Malami insists
“So, I have not taken steps to review the content and context of what has been presented for consideration for the President. So, it is premature and pre-emptive for me at this moment, now to arrive at any conclusion, taking into consideration that I have not gone through the document to understand what it contains and then analyse the same in accordance with the constitution and the prevailing laws.”
When asked if he loved democracy and wanted the advancement of the same, being someone who had been involved in political party activities, the minister interjected, “I am working for the advancement of democracy and the democratic system.”
Responding to a question on if he was willing to assist Buhari to pass what the President said he wanted to leave behind as a legacy of good elections for Nigeria; and if the bill might get passed by Buhari, the minister said, “Honestly, without going through or reading through, I am not in a position to assess whether the bill, indeed, has factored the national and public interest, as against selfish interest, among others; whether it is a bill that can stand the test of constitutionality and legality.”
I will advise Buhari not to sign the bill if it is against the dictates of democracy – AGF
When asked if he would advise the President to reject the amended bill if he was not satisfied with the new version, Malami said, “Certainly, if I am not satisfied and if I am of the opinion that it is against the public interest, the national interest; and then against the dictates of the democratic process, I would advise accordingly.”©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.