The Supreme Court on Thursday joined Rivers State in the suit filed by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) against Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act.
The hearing in the suit has been fixed for May 26, 2022.
The apex court approved an application filed by the Rivers State government to be joined as a party in the suit by the federal government to void the contentious Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
President Buhari and his Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, had approached the Supreme Court to seek the voiding of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022, which they claim was inconsistent with the provisions of sections 42, 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Nigerian Constitution as well Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
While seeking the court’s order to void the section, the President and Malami also sought a declaration that the joint reading of Section 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution, 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 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.
They also told the court to cause an order nullifying the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 for being unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and having been made in excess of the legislative powers of the defendant as enshrined in section 4 of the constitution as amended.
However, in its application, the Rivers State government told the Supreme Court that the state was opposed to the suit marked SC/CV/504/2022.
While giving the ruling on Thursday, Justice Musa Dattijo leading a seven-man panel of the justices of the apex court, allowed the Rivers application jointly filed on behalf of the state by the Speaker of the House of Assembly and its Attorney-General to sail through, thereby making the state a party to the suit which initially had the National Assembly as the sole respondent.
Justice Dattijo also shifted hearing and determination on the suit to May 26.
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