We’ll appeal court order removing Section 84 (12) from Electoral Act —Reps

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila 

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have resolved to appeal the judgement which directed the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to delete Section 84 (12) of the newly signed Electoral Act.

This followed a deliberation on the court order during Wednesday’s plenary in the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

The lawmakers insisted that the clause was directed at political appointees and not civil servants, saying the court passed a judgement on a matter which was not included in the Electoral Act passed by the National Assembly.

They also questioned why the National Assembly was not joined as a respondent to the suit, stressing that the action of the judge was an ‘aberration’.

While the lawmakers hinted at writing a petition to the National Judicial Council (NJC), the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, said he would not allow the National Assembly to be ridiculed.

Just like his colleagues, he queried why the judgement was obtained in faraway Abia State, insisting that only the National Assembly has the constitutional authority to alter any part of the legislation which it passed.

Gbajabiamila, therefore, appealed to the AGF not to hastily implement the court judgement, and not to get into the legitimate functions of the National Assembly.

President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Electoral Act 2022 on February 25, following a series of attempts by the National Assembly to amend the nation’s electoral laws.

He had, however, objected to the provisions of Section 84 (12), which read, “No political appointee at any level shall be 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 believes the section 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 the nomination of candidates for any election in cases where it holds earlier than 30 days to the national election.

He later asked the National Assembly to amend the section of the Act, but the request was rejected by the lawmakers.

On Friday last week, Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State ordered the AGF to delete the section from the Act.

She held that the section was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever and could not stand, saying it was in violation of the clear provisions of the Constitution.
~Channels tv
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