Dogara: N’Assembly Won’t Write Buhari over Withdrawal of Assent on Bills

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  • House finally passes NFIU Bill

James Emejo in Abuja

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, thursday hinted on the reluctance of the National Assembly to write President Muhammadu Buhari to reconsider his decision to withdraw presidential assent to the bills recently passed by the National Assembly.

His position however, put paid to expectations that the parliament could still persuade the president to change his mind and sign some of the bills he earlier rejected, particularly the Peace Corps of Nigeria Establishment Bill, whose rejection raised eyebrows.

The Speaker had while reacting to a point of order raised by Hon. Nkem Abonta (PDP, Abia) on the seeming lack of communication on the bills sent to the president for his assent, exonerated President Buhari of any blame.

He said to the best of his knowledge, the president had adhered to the provisions of Section 54 of the Constitution by often communicating to the parliament on bills he chose not to give assent as well as his reasons for his decisions.

Also, Dogara said the National Assembly would not ask the president to reconsider his decision on legislation he had refused to sign into law.

Rather, he said the parliament has an option provided for by the constitution to override the president’s veto on the bills.

He added that the parliament cannot force the president to reconsider his withdrawal of assent to the bills passed by the former, stressing that the constitution does not provide for such writing.

However, the lower chamber thursday reconsidered the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Establishment Bill and passed it after addressing the inherent errors which the Speaker had highlighted on Wednesday.

The passage of the harmonised bill, which was earlier passed by the Senate, pave the way for its transmission to Buhari for his assent.

Shortly before the House dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for reconsideration, Dogara said contrary to speculations in some quarters, there was no plan to frustrate the passage of the legislation in the green chamber by the initial delays.

He said the seeming tardiness on the part of the House was to address errors detected in the version of report submitted to the lower chamber.

He noted that insinuations that the House had deliberately delayed the passage “does not hold water,” adding that the harmonised bill would soon be forwarded to the president for his assent.