Appeal Court Voids Section 84(12) Of Electoral Act 2022

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The Court of Appeal has set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court in Umuahia which voided the provision of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022.

The appellate court however voided Section 84(12) of Electoral Act 2022, declaring it as unconstitutional and violation of Section 42 (1)(a) of the Constitution.

In a judgment on Wednesday in Abuja, a three-member panel of the court headed by Justice Hamma Akawu Barka held that the Federal High Court 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 appellate court added that Edede did not establish any cause of action to have warranted his approaching the court on the issue because he did not establish that he was directly affected by the provision.

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

While determining the appeal on the merit, the appellate court however held that the provision is unconstitutional because it violates Section 42 (1)(a) of the Constitution and denied a class of Nigerian citizens their right to participate in the election.

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

The judgment followed an appeal marked: CA/OW/87/2022, which was filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

It will be recalled that the High Court in Umuahia, had in March, struck down section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 and ordered that it should be deleted by the Attorney-General of the Federation for being inconsistent with the Constitution.

Barely 24 hours after the judgement was delivered, the AGF, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, announced his decision to immediately comply with the court order.

President Muhammadu Buhari had before he signed the Electoral Act Amendment Bill 2022 into law, also expressed his reservations with that portion of the electoral law, which he described as discriminatory.

Specifically, section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022, made it mandatory that political office holders must firstly resign from office, before they could vie for any elective position.

It 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.”

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