President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday signed one of three keys bills relating to elections, approving measures passed by the National Assembly which says that Vice President or Deputy Governor that assumes office to complete the tenure of their principal will only be able to stand for election for that office only once as President Muhammadu Buhari Friday signed one of three keys bills relating to elections, approving measures passed by the National Assembly.
Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on National Assembly matters, Senator Ita Enang, announced the development.
“The 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,” he said.
Before this assent, such vice presidents or deputy governors, after completion of their predecessors’ term can run for office on another two terms.
This was the case with former President Goodluck Jonathan who succeeded President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2010, contested and won the presidential election in 2011 and still contested for same office in 2015.
The new law will prohibit this, Enang said.
“There is another of the act which has come into force today. It 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-election 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,” he added.
He also announced an alteration to the law governing the conduct of bye-elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He said 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 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,” he added.