Electoral Act: Court declares provision which barred political appointees from primaries unconstitutional

A Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State capital, has declared invalid and unconstitutional Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The court, presided over by Justice Evelyn Anyadike, in a ruling on Friday also ordered the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to delete the section from the amended Electoral Act.

Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act provides 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.”


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President Muhammadu Buhari had while signing the Act into law last month expressed disatisfaction with the section, noting that it was contrary to the 1999 Constitution.

In a letter to both chambers of the National Assembly, Buhari asked the lawmakers to delete the section.

The Senate, however, rejected the plea.

The Attorney General the Federation (AGF) indicated on Wednesday that the Federal Government would explore other legal means to resolve the impasse.






     

     

    In its ruling, the court presided by Justice Anyadike held that the section is in violation of the 1999 Constitution as amended and should therefore be deleted.

    The judge held that the Constitution already stipulated that appointees of government seeking to contest elections were to resign at least 30 days to the date of the election.

    He noted that any other law that mandated such appointees to resign or leave office at any time before that is unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null and void to the extent of its inconsistency to the clear provisions of the Constitution.

    Anyadike ordered the AGF to delete the section from the body of the Electoral Act.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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