Promoting Good Governance.

Senate Expresses Worry Over Osinbajo’s Refusal To Sign 4 Bills Into Law

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo

The Nigerian Senate has expressed worry over the refusal of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to sign four bills passed by the National Assembly into law.

At the resumption of plenary on Wednesday, Senate President Bukola Saraki read out a letter from the acting President notifying the lawmakers of his decision not to assent to the bills and explaining why.

Osinbajo, who is also a professor of law, in his letter, explained that he withheld assent to some of the bills due to “concerns regarding words and phrases, and the spirit behind the amendment”, and due to “the existence of pending legal issue”.

The affected bills include: the Dangerous Drug Amendment Bill, 2016; the National Lottery Bill, 2016; the Currency Conversion Freezing Order Amendment Bill, 2016, and the Agricultural Credit Scheme Bill, 2016.

Reacting to the development, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Dino Melaye, frowned at the decision, saying that the executive arm of government must respect the principle of separation of powers.

Melaye noted that it was the responsibility of the executive to assent to bills made by the legislature or go to court to challenge them if they are not comfortable with the laws.

The Senate President said that the issue would be referred to the legal department of the national assembly for advice and interpretation.

It would be recalled that Acting President Osinbajo last weekend signed seven bills passed by the National Assembly into law.

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