A professor of Political Science who is the Director-General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Abubakar Sulaiman, has attributed a lack of due diligence as part of the reasons the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), rejected many bills passed by the 8th National Assembly.
Buhari rejected over 300 out of about 400 bills duly passed by the 8th National Assembly and transmitted to him for assent, during the period, citing one irregularity or the other as reasons for his action.
But in an interview with journalists in Abuja, Suleiman, a former Minister of National Planning, said NILDS had carried out extensive research into the reasons for such massive bills rejection by the President.
He said the institute had come up with a report on the issue, which had been submitted to the National Assembly leadership.
He said rather than consulting the NILDS management for necessary guidance before coming up with a bill, some National Assembly members relied on consultants who might not have carried out adequate due diligence to know whether such legislation was in existence in the nation’s jurisprudence.
Suleiman said, “In terms of drafting bills, at times, members (of the National Assembly) don’t take cognisance of existing bills to see whether those bills were there before, and whether they’ve been rejected before.”
“They don’t know why they were rejected. Not all bills passed or drafted emanated from NILDS. Not all bills not assented to emanated from NILDS.”
“Members of the National Assembly are at liberty to engage consultants in drafting their bills. Our own, when the need arises, either demand or supply-driven, is to assist them to provide technical support.”
“What we’ve done in the last one year, having seen the casualty that affected those bills that were rejected, is to go into why they were not assented to.”
Meanwhile, a new survey carried out by the NILDS has indicated that Nigerians want members of the National Assembly to show openness in the execution of constituency projects.