President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, have petitioned the Supreme Court for an interpretation of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2022.
The plaintiffs, the President and AGF, named the National Assembly as the sole defendant in the lawsuit filed on April 29.
They are asking the Supreme Court to strike down a portion of the Electoral Act that they claim is in violation of the country’s Constitution.
The plaintiffs argue that Section 84 (12) of the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2022, is incompatible with Sections 42, 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192, and 196 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), as well as Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
President Buhari and Malami both claimed that the Constitution already stipulates qualifications and disqualifications for the President and Vice President, Governor and Deputy Governor, Senate and House of Representatives, House of Assembly, Ministers, Commissioners, and Special Advisers.
They are seeking “A declaration that the joint and combined reading of Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended); the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022, which also ignores Section 84(3) of the same Act, is an additional qualifying and/or disqualifying factors for the National Assembly, House of Assembly, Gubernatorial and Presidential elections as enshrined in the said constitution, hence unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void,” the document read.
In response, the National Assembly also petitioned the Supreme Court to dismiss President Buhari’s lawsuit.
In a counter-affidavit submitted by its lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, the National Assembly stated that the Supreme Court cannot be used to change any provision of any law passed by legislators in the exercise of their legislative duties as allowed by the Constitution.
They claimed that the 1999 Constitution, as modified, granted the National Assembly the authority to enact laws that would improve Nigeria’s government.
Thr Supreme Court has fixed Thursday May 19 for hearing in the suit.
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