The Supreme Court has fixed May 26, to hear a suit filed by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, over Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act.
President Buhari and Malami had dragged the National Assembly to the Supreme Court over Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act.
They instituted the suit on April 29 seeking to void the provision of Section 84(12) of the electoral act 2022. The president and AGF are contending that Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022 is in conflict with provisions of the constitution.
Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act provides 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.”
- The president and AGF are contending 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 as well Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
- In a counter-affidavit filed by NASS, it argued that laws made by lawmakers while exercising their legislative powers cannot be amended by invoking the Supreme Court as the constitution empowers NASS to make laws in Nigeria.
- They, therefore, urged the apex court to strike out the suit instituted by President Buhari and AGF.
- The President and AGF sought among other reliefs, “A declaration that the joint and combined reading of Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended); 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/or 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 argued that the 1999 constitution has provisions for qualification and disqualification for political offices.
What happened in court
At today’s hearing, the Rivers State Attorney-General and Rivers State Speaker sought to be joined as parties in the suit.
Lateef Fagbemi, counsel to the president and AGF agreed that Rivers State be joined as parties in the suit.
Justice Muhammad Dattijo granted the application that Rivers State be joined as interested parties in the suit.
He then adjourned the matter for May 26.