The incubent President of Nigeria and former Military head of state his Excellency Mr. Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law a bill that limits a vice-president or deputy governor who completes the terms of their predecesor to only one term in office.
This amongst others are one of the key three bills the president signed on Friday that make important changes to the national constitution especially as regards the electoral laws.
The Senior Special Assistant to Mr. President Buhari on National Assembly matters, Ita Enang, announced that these changes are in line with Mr. Presidents commitments to a free and fair electoral processes.
“There is another of the act which has come into force today is Constitution amendment number 21 which relates to the determination of pre-election matters. It has reduced the date and time of determining pre-election matters to ensure that pre-eletion matters in court do not get into the time of the elections and do not pend thereafter. The relevant sections of the Constitution had also been amended by this act, therefore amending the Constitution.”
Mr Enang also said that bill number 16 amendments, will now ensure that a vice President or a deputy governor who succeeds and completes the tenure of a president or governor can only run for the office one more time.
“The other one is Act or Bill number 16 which is now an act and the intent of that act is to ensure that where a Vice President succeeds that president and where a deputy governor succeeds a governor, he can no more contest for that office more than once more.
“And the fact is that having taken the oath as President once, and you can only contest for once again and no more. That is the intent of this amendment.”
INEC will now have up to 21 days to conduct bye-elections instead of seven.
“The other amendment is Bill number 9 now an act which gives the Independent National Electoral Commission sufficient time to conduct bye elections. It has increased the number from seven to 21 days and generally widened the latitude of the Independent National Electoral Commission to handle election matters upon vacancy occurring.
“Therefore these four bills adding to the Not Too Young To Run Act have now been assented by Mr. President and have now become laws. Then the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 as amended are hereby further amended by the assent of Mr. President to these bills today.
“This allows the State Houses of Assembly to operate like the National Assembly does because the National Assembly does not get its budget from the Executive,”
We hope these changes would truly provide the much needed templates for future elections in this African most populous country.