The Federal High Court declares section 84(12) of the new Electoral Act as unconstitutional, invalid and illegal
- Court says political appointees can only resign 30 days to election, upholds sections 66(1)(f), 107(1)(f), 137(1)(f) AND 182(1)(f) of the 1999 Constitution
EKO HOT BLOG reports that a Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia has ordered the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami to delete Section 84(12) of the newly-amended Electoral Act recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a judgment held on Friday, the Attorney General of the Federation was asked to “forthwith delete the said Subsection 12 of Section 84 from the body of the Electoral Act, 2022”.
According to Justice Evelyn Anyadike, the section was “unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever and ought to be struck down as it cannot stand when it is in violation of the clear provisions of the Constitution.”
This online media platform recalls that President Buhari had while signing the amended Electoral Act, urged the National Assembly to delete the provision as he claimed that it violated the Constitution and breached the rights of government appointees.
Also, the President wrote a letter to both chambers of the National Assembly seeking amendment by way of deleting the provision, an amendment the Senate rejected in plenary.
Justice Anyadike in the Suit marked FHC/UM/CS/26/2022 held that Sections 66(1)(f), 107(1)(f), 137(1)(f), and 182(1)(f) of the 1999 Constitution already stipulated that appointees of government seeking to contest elections were only to resign at least 30 days to the date of the election and that any other law that mandated such appointees to resign or leave the office at any time before that was unconstitutional to the extent of its inconsistency to the clear provisions of the Constitution.
It was gathered that the plaintiff, Nduka Edede of the Action Alliance, had gone to the court to seek proper interpretation of Section 84(12) of the New Electoral Act.
Speaking to newsmen, Counsel to the Plaintiff, Emeka Ozoani, SAN, said that the National Assembly should no longer proceed with any amendments to the Act.
“by this judgment, the National Assembly is not required to further make any amendments to the section as the import of this judgment is that Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act is no longer in existence or part of the Electoral Act,” he stated.
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