Nigeria: President Buhari Signs Law Stopping VP’s From Contesting For Presidency Twice
Abuja, June 9, 2018, (AltAfrika) – President Muhammadu Buhari has signed Bill 16 into law. The new law stops vice president who completes president’s tenure from contesting twice. The same thing applies for a deputy governor.
Briefing State House Correspondents on Friday, the Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, explained that the Act is to ensure that where a vice president succeeds the president and where a deputy governor succeeds a governor, he can no more contest for that office more than one more time.
“The effect is that having taken the oath of president once, he can only contest one more time and no more. That is the intent of this amendment,” he said.
Enang said Buhari has also signed the Constitution Fourth Alteration Bill into law. He said that the new law grants financial autonomy and independence to the Houses of Assembly and to the judiciary of the respective states.
Enang said, “I just want to inform you that His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari today assented to the Constitution Fourth Alteration Bill, which grants financial autonomy and independence to the Houses of Assembly of the respective states and to the Judiciary of the respective states.
“Therefore upon this signature the amounts standing to the credit of the judiciary are to be now be paid directly to the judiciary of those states, no more through the governors and no more from the governors.
“And then the amounts standing to the credit of the Houses of Assembly of the respective states are now to be paid directly to the Houses of Assembly of that state for the benefit of the legislators and the management of the States Houses of Assembly of that state. This grant full autonomy now to the Houses of Assembly and judiciary of states.
“Another Act which has come into force today is Constitution Amendment 21, which relates to the determination of pre-elections matters. It has reduced the date and time of determining pre-election matters to ensure that the pre-election matters in court do not get into the time of the elections and do not lend thereafter. The relevant section of the constitution has also been amended by this Act, therefore amending the constitution.
“The other one is Bill 16 which is now an Act. The intent of that Act is to ensure that where a Vice President succeeds the President and where a deputy governor succeeds a governor, he can no more contest for that office more than one more time.
“The effect is that having taken the oath of President once, he can only contest one more time and no more. That is the intent of this amendment.
“The other amendment is Bill 9 now an Act, which gives the Independent National Electoral Commission sufficient time to conduct by-election. It has increased the time from seven to 21 days and generally widens the latitude of the INEC to handle election matters upon vacancy.
“These four bills, added to the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Act, having been assented to by the President and have now become laws.
“The Constitution of the Nigeria 1999 as amended is hereby further amended by the assent of the President to these bills today.”
The scenario proscribed by the new law played out in Nigeria when former President Goodluck Jonathan succeeded the late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua and became President. After the completion of Yar’Adua’s tenure, Jonathan contested the 2011 presidential polls and won. He then sought a second term in office in 2015 but lost the elections to Muhammadu Buhari in a fiercely contested presidential elections that left Nigeria divided along religious and political lines three years after.