The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has reversed the ruling by the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, on the move by the parliament to override the veto by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Section 84(8) of the Electoral Act 2022.
The National Assembly had amended the section to provide for statutory delegates at the meetings, congresses and conventions of political parties.
Wase had on Tuesday stepped down the motion moved by a member of the House, Ben Igbakpa, to ask that the parliament to invoke its powers under Section 58(5) of the 1999 Constitution by overriding the President’s veto on the bill.
The Deputy Speaker had argued that the House could not override the veto through a motion but a reconsideration of the bill.
However, Gbajabiamila, in his remarks at the opening of plenary on Wednesday, ruled that it requires that a motion calling for reconsideration of the bill be moved and adopted by the lawmakers.
There is no contradiction or difference between what the Deputy Speaker said yesterday and what I pronounced on Wednesday (last week); they are one and the same,” he said.
The Speaker said, “You have to bring the bill back by way of a substantive motion and you are now reconsidering it by recommitting it to the Committee of the Whole or, in the alternative, go through the whole process again – first, second and third reading.
So, you still have to come by way of a substantive motion to bring the bill back, not that you will just bring a motion and say, ‘Let us override.’ I hope that gives clarity. The bill itself has to be brought back to the House but it can only be done by way of a substantive motion. So, I will suggest (that) you quickly do that so that we can keep the process going.”
The Speaker had on Wednesday last week called on members willing to move a motion for the chamber to override Buhari’s veto to do so anytime from Thursday – the next day.