The Nigerian Senate said it will wait till January to respond to the withholding of assent to the Electoral Act (amendment) Bill by President Muhammdu Buhari. It said the move would enable it to consult with the House of Representatives, which is presently on recess, and to seek the input of their constituents.Senate President Ahmad Lawan disclosed this after the chamber’s executive session in Abuja.
In a statement, special assistant (press) to Lawan, Dr. Ezrel Tabiowo noted that the President of the Senate said the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) does not permit the upper chamber to exclusively take any action on such matters in the absence of the House of Representatives, since the latter has embarked on recess. He, however, assured that a joint position would be reached with the House after due consultation with Nigerians to determine the appropriate line of action when both chambers reconvene from the Christmas break in January.
Speaking on what transpired in the closed session, Lawan said: “The Senate in a closed session deliberated on matters relevant to the workings of the Senate in particular and, the National Assembly in general. “The Senate also in the closed session discussed how to respond to the letter from Mr. President on the electoral bill amendment. “The Senate consequently resolved to consult with the House of Representatives in January when both the Senate and House will be in session.
“Presently, the House of Reps has gone or recess, and like we all know, the constitutional provision is for the Senate and House of Representatives to jointly take the appropriate action. “The Senate also resolved to consult with our constituents during our recess in January. “The Senate believes that our constituents have a role to play as the major stakeholders in the laws that we make in the National Assembly.”