THE Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court in Umuahia which voided the provisions of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022.
Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act stated that, “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.”
The Federal High Court in Umuahia presided by Justice Evelyn Anyadike had on March 18 declared Section 84(12) as unconstitutional and ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation to delete it from the Electoral Act.
However, ruling on an appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday, the panel of the Court of Appeal headed by Justice Hamma Akawu Barka held that the Federal High 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 Court of Appeal further held that Edede did not establish any cause of action as he did not establish that he was directly affected by the section.
The Court of Appeal therefore struck out the suit marked: FHC/UM/CS/26/2022.
But the Court of Appeal equally held that the provision was unconstitutional because it violated Section 42 (1a) of the Constitution and denied a class of Nigerian citizens their right to participate in an election.
President Muhammadu Buhari had asked the National Assembly to delete Section 84(12) after signing the amended Electoral Act into law but the PDP went to court to challenge the directive.
The suit filed by the PDP challenged the legality or otherwise of the National Assembly tinkering with the Electoral Act after it had been signed into law.