The Supreme Court of Nigeria has scheduled for hearing the suit filed by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami on the controversial section 84(12) of the 2022 amended Electoral Act.
Naija News learnt the suit marked SC/CV/504/2022 is set to be heard by the apex court on May 19, 2022.
Though the case is not listed in the Supreme Court’s list of cases for the week, a report monitored on The Nation has it that relevant parties have been served the hearing notices.
The National Assembly is listed as the sole defendant in the suit.
Naija News recalls President Buhari had wanted the National Assembly to remove the clause which bars political office holders from voting or being voted for during party primaries to be removed.
He argued that the constitution has made provisions for such contingencies and the section of the electoral act on the matter is in conflict with the constitutional provisions that exist already.
The plaintiffs (Buhari and Malami) are praying the court for the following reliefs:
*A declaration that by the joint and or 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 provisions 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.
*A declaration that having regard to the clear provision of section 1(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, read together with section 4 of the same Constitution, the legislative powers vested in the Defendant do not permit or empower # to make any other law prescribing additional qualifying /disqualifying grounds for election to the National Assembly, House of Assembly, Gubernatorial and Presidential election outside the express constitutional qualification and disqualification provisions as already provided in each or all of Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), and without amendment to any of those sections is for reason of inconsistency, unconstitutional and therefore null and void.
*A declaration that section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 disqualifying a political appointee from being a voting delegate or be voted for at a convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election is discriminatory, inconsistent with and in violent breach of the provision of each or all of Sections 42, 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), as well as Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and some is null and void by reason of its inconsistency.
*A declaration that by the introduction of the provisions of Section 84(12) into the Electoral Act, 2022, but in disregard of Section 84(3) of the some Act, the Defendant has acted ultra vires the legislative powers vested in it under the provision of section 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and/or in violation or breach of the provisions of Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196, thereby rendering Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 unconstitutional, null and void.
*An order nullifying the provisions of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 by application of the blue pencil rule, for being unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and having been made in excess of the legislative powers of the defendant as enshrined in Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Meanwhile, it will be recalled that the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has taken a decision on the provision of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022.
Naija News recalls that the Federal High Court in Umuahia had in a judgement, voided the provision of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022.
The court in a judgment delivered by Justice Evelyn Anyadike held that the section was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void and of no effect.
In a ruling on Wednesday, May 11, the appellate court set aside the judgment of the lower court in Umuahia which voided the provision of the controversial section of the Electoral Act.
According to the unanimous ruling by a three-member panel of the court headed by Justice Hamma Akawu Barka, the lower court had no jurisdiction to have entertained the case and the suit lacked merit.
It thereafter referred the appeal on Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022 to Supreme Court for interpretation.