The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Monday fixed April 25 as the day it will deliver judgment on the suit challenging the powers of the National Assembly to re-order the sequence for the 2019 general elections.
The judge presiding over the matter, Justice Ahmed Mohammed reserved judgment after all the parties argued and adopted their respective briefs of argument in regards to the suit filed by Accord Party.
At the proceeding on the matter on Monday, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, as well as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) explained why they are opposed to the re-ordering and prayed the court not to allow the lawmakers to interfere with the already released sequence for the 2019 general elections.
On the other hand, the National Assembly through its lead lawyer, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), questioned the jurisdiction of the court to stop it from securing two-third majority votes of its members to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to assent to the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, 2018, which altered the election sequence.
The lawmakers further demanded to know the locus-standi of Accord Party to institute the action, arguing that the plaintiff failed to tender its Certificate of Registration to allow the court confirm that it is a genuine political party.
Earlier, counsel to the AGF and INEC, Mr. Femi Falana, (SAN) while adopting their processes, had maintained that sections 78(1), 116, 132, 153, 178 and item 15 to the Third Schedule of the 1999 constitution, as amended, gave the electoral body freedom to choose date of their choice for elections.
The AGF and INEC were cited as 2nd and 3rd defendants in the suit. Both of them told the court that they were in support of all the reliefs being sought by Accord Party, contending that section 4(8) of the constitution conferred the court with requisite jurisdiction to stop the National Assembly.
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