By Augustine Akhilomen
Constitutional lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Mike Ozekhome has raised an alarm that President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sign the Electoral Act into law was an indication that he wants to manipulate the 2019 general elections.
Reacting to the President’s inability to assent on the electoral bill last week Friday during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Ozekhome believed that the act was a breach of the constitution and urged both chambers of the National Assembly to muster 2/3 majority votes to override the President under section 58 of the 1999 Constitution.
“Buhari is obviously afraid not just of defeat, but of routing in the next presidential election.
“His refusal is an unveiled and desperate attempt to foist on Nigerians, the grand electoral fraud and larceny of bazaar votes we witnessed in the North West, especially in Kano in 2015.
“Recall that the then Kano Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Returning Officer was burnt to death with his entire family as soon as the results were announced. Till date, no arrest has ever been made of the culprits who annihilated an entire family just so that a person will have power.
“That desperation has been lampooned again and again by Aisha, his very wife. The amendments were aimed at sanitizing and deodorizing the electoral process, enthrone integrity in it, transmit results automatically from the polling units to the announcement centres after parties representatives have signed and endorsed. This prevents rigging, especially after-count rigging, when declared results are brazenly altered.
“How can any genuine democrat ever be against such auspicious amendments, if not for sinister purposes? All hope is not lost.
“The simple answer is for both Houses of parliament, the National Assembly to muster 2/3 majority votes to override the President under section 58 of the 1999 Constitution.”