Court has ordered Malami to remove Section 84(12) in the Electoral Act
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami has been ordered to delete Section 84 (12) of the Amended New Electoral Act by the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State.
Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the section was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void, and of no effect, and that it could not stand because it contradicted the Constitution’s clear provisions.
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Justice Anyadike ruled in the case FHC/UM/CS/26/2022 that Sections 66(1)(f), 107(1)(f), 137(1)(f), and 182(1)(f) of the 1999 Constitution already stipulated that government appointees seeking to contest elections must resign at least 30 days before the election, and that any other law that required them to resign or leave office before that was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, and null and void to the
President Buhari asked the National Assembly to remove section 84 (12), which prevents sitting cabinet members from running for elective office without resigning, when he signed the Electoral Bill into law last month.
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“No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at any political party’s Convention or Congress for the purpose of nominating candidates for any election,” the section states.
“Section 84 (12) constitutes a disenfranchisement of serving political office holders from voting or being voted for at conventions or congresses of any political party, for the purpose of nominating candidates for any election in cases where it takes place earlier than 30 days before the national election,” President Buhari had argued.
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The Senate, on the other hand, refused to consider the president’s request and threw out the bill seeking to amend the section, claiming that such an amendment would violate civil service norms and be harmful to society’s well-being.
Following the Senate’s refusal, the AGF stated on Wednesday that the Federal Government will consider all other options before taking a position.
Malami went on to say that, while it is the responsibility of legislators to legislate, if it becomes necessary, the government will pursue other options, such as submitting a new request to parliament for reconsideration, going to court, or simply accepting the law as it is.
Counsel to the Plaintiff Emeka Ozoani (SAN) told reporters after the court hearing on Friday that the National Assembly is not required to make any further amendments to the section because the import of the judgement is that Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act is no longer in existence or part of the Electoral Act.
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The Judge then ordered the Attorney General of the Federation to remove Subsection 12 of Section 84 from the body of the Electoral Act of 2022 as soon as possible.
That is all for now on Court orders Abubakar Malami to remove Section 84(12) in the Electoral Act