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National Assembly appeals judgment on Electoral Act

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The National Assembly has decided to appeal the judgment of a Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, which mandated the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to delete Section 84(12) from the Electoral Act.

The appeal will thwart actions of the executive in removing the Section from the Electoral Act as the 2023 general elections draw near.

The resolve by the lawmakers was reached on Thursday during plenary when the legislature announced it had started the process of appealing the Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act which bars all political appointees including ministers, commissioners and aides from contesting or voting in any party primary without resigning from office.

The provision has been vehemently opposed by some members of the executive, particularly Malami, who has been doing everything possible to see that the particular section of the Act is expunged.

Read also: Again, Women storm National Assembly in protest against rejected gender bills

While signing the Act a few months ago, President Muhammadu Buhari had urged the NASS to delete the contentious section “in order to deepen democracy in the country,” but the National Assembly threw out the President’s request and insisted that serving political appointees must resign before contesting elections.

On his part, Malami, had vowed that the Federal Government would explore every means including going to court to ensure the provision that the offensive section of the Act was deleted.

On March 18, the Umuahia court ruled that the section was at variance with the constitution which provides that public officers contesting public office should only resign 30 days to an election, and ordered Malami to delete the section.

Malami, who welcomed the judgment, promised to delete the section from the law in line with the judgment but the National Assembly rejected the judgment, vowing to appeal it.

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