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S’Court reserves judgment in suit seeking interpretation of Section 84(12) of Electoral Act

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The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved judgment in a suit seeking interpretation of the controversial Section 84(12) of Electoral Act 2022.

The Supreme Court on Thursday, reserved its ruling in a case brought by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation, which sought an interpretation of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act of 2022.

The date is to be given to the parties involved in the suit, according to the seven-member panel led by Justice Mohammed Dattijo.

After hearing arguments from both sides and adopting their procedures, the Apex Court came to this result.

The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) filed an application to be joined as interested parties at the proceedings on Thursday.

The APGA, on the other hand, chose to withdraw its application for joinder, which was later dismissed by the Supreme Court.

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However, the NBA stood firm, insisting that Nigerians do not have representation in the suit, which is why it has opted to join the matter.

In the suit, the defendants were the National Assembly, Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, and the Attorney General of Rivers State, on account of this the NBA insisted it was to represent the interest of Nigerians by joining the suit.

Counsel to President Muhammadu Buhari, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) objected to the application of the NBA to be joined either as an interested party or as amicus curiae in the suit.

Fagbemi objected to the NBA joining as amicus curiae in the matter, insisting it holds an opinion and is taking sides on the matter already.

The NBA, on the other hand, stayed firm, claiming that Nigerians are not represented in the lawsuit and that this was why it has decided to join the case.

The defendants in the suit were the National Assembly, the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, and the Attorney General of Rivers State; as a result, the NBA claimed that by joining the litigation, it was representing the interests of Nigerians.

Finally, the plaintiff’s counsel agreed to the NBA’s request to be joined as an amicus curiae, clarifying that the organization’s submissions on the matter will focus solely on providing an interpretation of Section 84 (12) and not to join concerns.

In a brief ruling, the panel joined the NBA as an Amicus curiae.

A neutral adviser to a court of law in a specific case is known as an amicus curiae.

Buhari lacks locus standi to file such a suit, according to Emmanuel Ukala, Counsel to the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly and Attorney General of the State, citing the Supreme Court Additional Jurisdictions Act, because he is not directly affected by Section 84 [12] of the Electoral Act.

He claimed that the appointees who were barred from exercising their rights under the Section Electoral Act should have been the ones to file the lawsuit.

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