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Court Orders AGF to Delete Section 84 (12) of Amended Electoral Act

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The court ruling is coming barely weeks after the Nigerian Senate rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to expunge that section of the Act.

“Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has been given an order by the Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital to delete Section 84 (12) of the recently signed Electoral Act 2022.
 
According to Channels Television, Justice Evelyn Anyadike, who delivered the judgment on Friday said the section of the Electoral Act 2022 is null and void.
 
She directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to expunge that section from the Act.
 
The section which requires political appointees seeking elective offices to resign 30 days before election, 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.”
 
Meanwhile, before any section of the Electoral Act can be tampered with, the Act has to go through a legislative process and return to the president for fresh assent.
 
The court ruling is coming barely weeks after the Nigerian Senate rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to expunge that section of the Act.
 
President Buhari had made the request after signing the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law.
 
The justice minister, Malami, had recently said that the federal government may sue the National Assembly over its refusal to grant Buhari’s request on the Electoral Act.
 
Malami said, “National Assembly has taken a position, and if the government is in any way of the opinion that there are certain conflicts associated with the constitution, in terms of breaching the provisions of the constitution relating to law-making, the government has a lot of options to consider and exploit.

“One of the options is to request or demand the National Assembly to consider; the other option, if the government feels strongly about it, it may consider the judicial option which is equally available and open to all.

“And then, the third option is to look at the law within the context and spirit of the law to see what it can do; and all these options are on table.

“No position has been conclusively taken on the part of the government; the government is reviewing; the government is looking and the government will come up with a position at the appropriate time if the need for further action is required; if there is no need for such action, the government will take as presented.’’

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