BREAKING: Appeal Court Sets Aside Judgment Deleting Section 84(12) Of Electoral Act, Despite Declaring Section Unconstitutional

The Court of Appeal has set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court in Umuahia on the deletion of section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022.

In a judgment on Wednesday in Abuja, a three-member panel of the court headed by Justice Hamma Akawu Barka declared the section as unconstitutional because it violates Section 42 (1)(a) of the Constitution and denied a class of Nigerian citizens their right to participate in an election.

The appeal also held that the court in Umuahia had no jurisdiction to have entertained the case because the plaintiff, Nduka Edede, lacked the locus standi to have filed the suit in the first place.

The judgment was on the appeal marked: CA/OW/87/2022 filed by the Peoples Democratic Party.

The Court of Appeal subsequently struck out the suit marked: FHC/UM/CS/26/2022 which Edede filed before the Federal High Court.

President Muhammadu Buhari had assented to the Electoral Act Amendment bill on February 25.

He had, however, asked the national assembly to delete section 84(12) of the act, which reads: “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.”

According to the president, the provision “disenfranchises” political appointees.

On March 18, a Federal High Court in Umuahia ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to immediately delete the aforementioned section on the grounds that it violates the provisions of the constitution.

Delivering the ruling in a suit marked FHC/UM/CS/26/2022, Anyadike said 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 were only to resign at least 30 days to the date of the election.

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