From Emmanuel Iyoho
The Federal Government has said that it is yet to take a position on the Senate’s refusal to consider the request by President Muhammadu Buhari to delete section 84 (12) of the 2022 Electoral Act, even as a Federal High Court in Umuahia, AbiaState orders the attorney general of the Federation to immediately delete Section 84 (12) of the Amended New Electoral Act.
Attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, disclosed this during a briefing shortly after the Federal Executive Council meeting held in Abuja recently.
Malami said following the National Assembly’s rejection of the request, the Federal Government would consider either putting forward another request to the parliament for reconsideration, approaching the court, or accepting the law just as it is.
He explained that even though it was the responsibility of the lawmakers to legislate, if it becomes necessary, the government would exploit other options available to it.
Recall that while signing the Electoral Bill into law last month, President Buhari had asked the National Assembly to delete section 84 (12), which restricts sitting cabinet members from contesting for elective offices without resigning.
Buhari argued that: “Section 84 (12) constituted adisenfranchisement of serving political office holders from voting or being voted for at Conventions or Congresses of any political party, for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election in cases where it holds earlier than 30 days to the National Election”.
But, the Senate while considering the Electoral Act Amendment recently, rejected the president’s request and threw out the bill seeking the amendment of the section with lawmakers.
The President said that an amendment of Section 84 (12) would be going against the civil service norms and would be injurious to the well-being of the society.
In the meantime, a Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, has ordered the attorney general of the federation to immediately delete Section 84 (12) of the Amended New Electoral Act.
The section says: “No political appointee at any level shall be 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”.
Buhari while signing the Electoral Bill into law last month, urged members of the National Assembly to delete section 84 (12), which restricts sitting cabinet members from contesting for elective offices without resigning from their positions.