The House of Representatives will on Wednesday convene an emergency plenary session to address the fundamental error in the newly amended Electoral Act 2022.
Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act has been a subject of controversy.
Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on March 7 stopped President Muhammadu Buhari, Attorney-General of the Federation and Senate President from tampering with the newly amended Electoral Act 2022.
The judge in a ruling on an ex-parte application by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, agreed that the Electoral Act, having been assented to by Buhari, had become a valid law and could not be tampered with without following due process of law.
Justice Ekwo agreed with Chief James Ogwu Onoja (SAN), counsel for the PDP, that the proper place to challenge the validity of any existing law or the Electoral Act is a court of competent jurisdiction.
However, a division of the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, had on March 18, nullified Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act — a decision that agrees with President Buhari’s earlier protest against the controversial legal provision.
The novel statutory provision had prohibited political appointees from voting as delegates in party conventions or congresses for the election or nomination of candidates.
In her verdict, the judge, Evelyn Anyadike, held that the section was “unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever” and ordered the AGF, who was the sole defendant in the suit, to “forthwith delete the said Subsection 12 of Section 84 from the body of the Electoral Act, 2022.”
Meanwhile, President Buhari had informed a Federal High Court in Abuja that he did not order the Senate to remove the contentious Section 84 (12) from the amended Electoral Act 2022.
Contrary to the claims of the PDP in a suit instituted against him and 12 others on the Electoral Act, Buhari said that he only expressed reservations and concerns in respect of the aspect of the Electoral Act.