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Section 84(12) of Electoral Act is ‘non-existent’, Akpabio says as govt appointees seek elective posts



Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and presidential hopeful, Godswill Akpabio, has asserted that the portion of the Electoral Act as amended that requires presidential candidates to resign from government positions does not exist.

The Electoral Act, Section 84 subsection 12 states that “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election”.

However, during an appearance on Channels TV’s Politics Today on Thursday night, Akpabio stated that the clause was no longer in effect since it had been declared unlawful by an Abia court.

He said, “In terms of section 84(12), it speaks about elections. If you wish to go into primary, you should try to resign before you go there.

Read also: Why the N100m charged by APC for 2023 election forms is fair – Akpabio

“Even before Mr. President signed the bill, he had mentioned that it was not in line with the Nigerian constitution which contemplates 30 days before elections.

“So, no matter the act of parliament, no matter the law, the constitution is superior to any act of parliament. Moreover, it was shut down by a court of competent jurisdiction somewhere in Umuahia. So for now that law doesn’t exist.”

He stated that he wasn’t worried about the law because the constitution superceded it.

“I would have been worried about how the appeal would go but for the constitution. It depends on the constitution at the end of the day. It’s not a constitutional amendment,” he said.

Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari, at a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, denied ordering the Senate to remove the contentious Section 84 (12) from the amended Electoral Act 2022.

The President’s denial which was contained in a counter affidavit filed on his behalf by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, (SAN), in response to a suit filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), against him and 12 others, noted that he only expressed reservations and concerns in respect of the aspect of the Act.

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