1.The undersigned Civil Society Organizations, following an in-depth and comprehensive review of the Electoral Bill 2021 for which the President declined assent, wish to draw the attention of the National Assembly to identified drafting errors and cross-referencing gaps in the Bill.
2. We urge the National Assembly to address these errors and gaps before re-submitting the Bill for Presidential assent to eliminate any form of ambiguity or legal complications in the application of the Bill when it is enacted.
3. We recall that in August 2018, President Buhari premised his decision of declining assent to the 2018 Electoral (Amendment) Bill on certain drafting errors and cross-referencing gaps in the Bill. It is imperative for the National Assembly to ensure due diligence before transference of the Electoral Bill 2021 back to the President for assent to prevent it from suffering the same fate.
4. We reiterate our earlier call on the National Assembly to expeditiously conclude this process and retransmit the Electoral Bill 2021 to the President for assent within 30 days from 21st December 2021.
5. Any further delay in concluding the process of enacting the Electoral Bill 2021 will directly impact INEC’s preparations for the 2023 General Election.
6. The identified drafting and cross-referencing errors and gaps in the Electoral Bill 2021 are as follows: