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Supreme Court reserves judgment on Electoral Act

The Supreme Court has reserved judgment in the appeal by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, in the suit…

The Supreme Court has reserved judgment in the appeal by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, in the suit seeking an interpretation of the controversial Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

 A seven-member panel of justices presided by Justice Dattijo Mohammed ordered the reservation yesterday after the hearing of the argument of lawyers in the matter.

 “The date will be communicated to the parties in the matter,” the justice said.

 The suit was filed following the judgment of the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, that struck out Section 84(12) because it conflicted with sections 66(1)(f), 107(1)(f),137(1)(f) and 182(1)(f) of the Nigerian Constitution 1999. 

 Counsel to Buhari, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) had asked the apex court to hold that Section 84(12) would impede the political aspiration of some Nigerians and strike it out.

 But counsel to the Rivers State Government, Emmanuel Ukala (SAN), asked the court to dismiss the appeal against the law as President Muhammadu Buhari, who brought it, lacked the locus standi to do so as he occupies an elective and not appointive position and his rights are not infringed upon.

 Also submitting, Charles Mekwunye (SAN), who sought to be joined as a party in the suit, or in the alternative be allowed into the case as amicus curiae (friend of the court), asked the court to dismiss the appeal as Section 84(12) was in the public interest.

 “It is our submission that there is no conflict between Section 84(12) and any other section of the Electoral Act, the 1999 Constitution, as amended, or the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights,” he said.

 

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