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Supreme Court rules on Section 84(12)

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G’NORSHIP ELECTION TUSSLE: Ikpeazu, Ishaku, Okowa know fate today

The Supreme Court of Nigeria on Friday delivered judgement on the controversial section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022, that mandates political appointees to resign their position before their parties’ primaries.

The Court gave verdict in relation to the suit filed against the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

A seven-man bench of the Supreme Court, led by Musa Dattijo-Muhammad, ruled out the suit and branded it an abuse of court process.

In the judgement delivered by Aokmaye Agim, the court said the president could not demand the removal of section 84 (12) section of the Electoral Act 2022 having earlier assented to it.

He stressed that the President’s move to remove the controversial section in his request to the National Assembly was at variance with the constitutional principles, stressing that it was an ill-founded ploy to get the validation of the court.

He said: “The president has no power to request or compel the national assembly to amend any part of the Act of the National Assembly in which he has participated in its making.

“This suit cannot be entertained by this court under section 1(1) (a) of the Additional Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court Act.”

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The President and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, had filed the suit at the Supreme Court to challenge the controversial clause in the Electoral Amendment Act 2022.

In the suit marked SC/CV/504/2022 and dated April 29, the plaintiffs listed the National Assembly as the sole defendant.

The plaintiffs also moved that Section 84 (12) of the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2022 is inconsistent with the provisions of sections 42, 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended) as well Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

Section 84 (12), which basically prohibits political appointees from being voting delegates or voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of nomination as candidates for any election, had been a subject of heated debate generated since President Buhari signed the amended Electoral Act 2022 into law in February this year.

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