FG Is Considering Options For Rejected Electoral Act Amendment – Malami

Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mallam Abubakar Malami, has listed judicial intervention as one of the options the federal government is weighing in resolving the impasse arising from the Senate’s rejection of the request of President Muhammadu Buhari on the new Electoral Act 2022.

The Senate had rejected Buhari’s request to further amend the Electoral Act 2022 by deleting section 84(12) from it.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Malami said the government has three options it is considering.

Malami affirmed that while it is the responsibility of the lawmakers to legislate if it becomes necessary, the Federal Government will exploit all the options available to it.

But he maintained that the government is yet to take a conclusive stand as to what it will do on the matter.

He said, “You see, as far as the legislative process is concerned, the Constitution is clear. Clear in the sense that it is the responsibility of the National Assembly, to legislate and functions associated with enactment of laws and legislations exclusive to the National Assembly.

“The National Assembly has taken the position and if the government in any way, thinks that there are certain conflicts associated with the Constitution in terms of reaching the provisions of the Constitution related to lawmaking, the government has a lot of options to consider and exploit.

“One of the options is to request or demand the National Assembly to reconsider, the other option if the government feels strongly about it is to consider the judicial option which is equally available and open to all.

And then the third option is to look at the law within the context and spirit of the law to see what it can do. And all these options are on the table. No position has been conclusively taken on the part of the government.

The government is reviewing, the government is looking and the government will come up with a position at the appropriate time if the need for further action is required.

If there is no further need for such action, the government will take it as presented. So no position has been taken by the government as of today, with particular regard to what needs to be done on the part of the executive arising from the provision of the Electoral Act, in respect of which issues of conflict to the constitution were raised.

On Abba Kyari, the AGF described reports that his office has exonerated the super cop of money laundering allegations as mischievous.

He regretted what he called the misunderstanding created around the issue by the media, urging them to get a grip of the facts to avoid creating confusion.

He said, “Starting with the issue of Abba Kyari as raised, maybe by way of an insight as to the workings of the Office of the Attorney-General and Federal Ministry of Justice, we need to understand that it is not and has never been part of the functions and duties of the office of the attorney-general to conduct an investigation.

“So generally speaking, when issues are raised that have some criminal undertones, the responsibility of the Office of the Attorney-General is to refer to the relevant agencies of government that are saddled with the responsibility of investigation, inclusive, or perhaps the police, ICPC, EFCC among others.

“So, with that in mind, during the investigation, there is naturally correspondence and exchange of mutual correspondence between the offices.

“Fundamentally, after the investigation was deposited to the Office of the Attorney-General, the attorney-general will review the same to see whether there is need for enhancement of investigation as it relates to certain key elements of the offence.

“So, it is from these background perspectives that you will need to consider what fully transpired in the case of Abba Kyari. Allegations were made, investigations were conducted, and then the requests for further enhancement of investigation were indeed made by the Office of the Attorney-General to cover the field in arriving at an informed decision one way or the other.

“So, while this process of correspondence between the Office of the Attorney-General and the police is ongoing, it is indeed a work in progress and never conclusive.

“So that is what I can tell you clearly, there was indeed an independent request for an investigation.

The interim Investigation report was presented to the Office of the Attorney-General and the attorney general at the point requested for further enhancement of the investigation and highlighted some areas in respect of which enhancement of investigation is required.

“So, it is indeed premature or perhaps mischievous for any conclusion to have been driven in the direction of exoneration or otherwise of liability or responsibility related therein,” he added.

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