Buhari Declines Assent To 4 Bills, Saraki Informs Senators

President Muhammadu Buhari has declined to give assent to four bills,
Senate President, Bukola Saraki has said.
According to a letter to the Senate, and read by the President of the
Senate, Bukola Saraki during Tuesday’s plenary, the bills included:
The National Child Protection and Enforcement Agency (NCPEA)
(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.
“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.”
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 N50 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 N100 million.
“I am ready to grant Presidential assent to this Bill once this
drafting is rectified,” according to the letter.