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Buhari declines assent to four bills

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President Muhammadu Buhari has declined assent to four bills .According to a letter to the Senate , and read by the President of the Senate , Dr Bukola Saraki during Tuesday ’ s plenary , the bills included : The National Child Protection and Enforcement Agency ( Establishment ) Bill , 2018 .

“ Pursuant to Section 58 ( 4 ) of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria , 1999 ( as amended ) , I hereby convey to the Senate , my decision , on ( June 21 , 2018 ) to decline Presidential Assent to the National Child Protection and Enforcement Agency (‘ NCPEA ’) Bill of 2018 recently passed by the National Assembly .

“ The rationale for declining assent includes all the proposed duties and responsibilities of the proposed agency are currently the statutory responsibilities of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs .

“ The creation of the NCPEA may lead to the duplication of mandates of Federal Ministries , Departments and Agencies ( MDAs) , which would result in the wastage of scarce financial and other resources .

“ Secondly , The courts and Tribunals ( Standard Scale of Fines) Bill of 2017

“ Pursuant to Section 58 ( 4 ) of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria , 1999 ( as amended ) , I hereby convey to the Senate , my decision , on ( June 21 , 2018 ) to decline Presidential Assent to The Courts and Tribunals Standard Scale of Fines Bill of 2017 recently passed by the National Assembly .

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“ Specifically , you may wish to note that the proposed standard scale of fines appears to be ambiguous , as it does not clearly state the manner by which any given offence will fall under a particular level on the scale .

“ The proposed scale of fines may conflict with existing penalties and fines under extant laws which already impose penalties and fines for various offences. This may result in confusion .

“ As the Naira ’ s value is dynamic , a fixed scale of fines may impair the ease of future review of Nigerian laws setting out penalties and fines for offences, ” according to the letter .

The third Bill Buhari declined assent was the ‘ Corporate Manslaughter Bill of 2018 . ’

“ Specifically , my attention has been drawn to Section 1 ( 5 ) of this Bill , which imposes a fine upon the mere indictment of a corporate organisation of the criminal offence of corporate manslaughter .

“ This provision appears to be inconsistent with Section 36 ( 5 ) of the 1999 Constitution, which enshrines the presumption of innocence until the alleged offender is convicted by a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction .

“ The Bill should clearly specify the penalties to be imposed for the offences created by the Bill . ”

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The fourth Bill is The Agriculture Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund ( Amendment ) Bill , 2018 .

“ My decision to decline Presidential Assent to the Bill is due to the fact that the increase in the fund size to N 50 billion , which is a principal basis of the Bill , will not be effective as currently drafted .

“ This is because the introductory language in Section 5 ( 1 ) of the principal Act which sets out the size of the fund retains the original fund size of N 100 million .

“ I am ready to grant Presidential assent to this Bill once this drafting is rectified , ” according to the letter .

( NAN )

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