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Buhari, Malami ask Supreme Court to void Electoral Act Section 84 (12)

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President Muhammmadu Buhari and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami

President Muhammmadu Buhari and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami have asked the Supreme Court to void the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022.

Their request is contained in a suit they filed April 29, 2022 before the apex court through a group of private lawyers,  including Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), hired by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The suit marked: SC/CV/504/2022 has the National Assembly  as the sole defendant.

The controversial Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act states: “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.”

On May 11, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, in Abuja set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court(FHC) in Umuahia which voided the provision of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022.

The panel headed by Justice Hamma Akawu Barka held that the FHC 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.

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It however held that if the court was to determine the case on merit, the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act was unconstitutional, being in breach of Section 42(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution.

Buhari and Malami  are therefore  of the opinion that Section 84 (12)  section of the Electoral Act 2022 is  in conflict with constitutional provisions.

They are contending that the 1999 Constitution has made provisions for qualifications and disqualifications for the offices of the president and vice president, governor and deputy govemor, Senate and House of Representatives, and state Houses of Assembly, ministers, commissioners and special advisers.

The plaintiffs  added that the same Constitution spells out  “the qualifying factors for election into the office of president, vice-president. governor, deputy gavemor, Senate, House of Representatives, Houses of Assembly and ministers. .”

They  are praying the court for the following reliefs:

*A declaration that by the joint and or combined reading of Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196, of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), the provisions of section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 which also ignores Section 84(3) of the same Act, is an additional qualifying and/or disqualifying factors for the National Assembly, Houses of Assembly, governorship and presidential elections as enshrined in the said constitution, hence unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void.

*A declaration that having regard to the clear provision of section 1(3) of the Constitution as amended, read together with section 4 of the same constitution, the legislative powers vested in the defendant do not permit or empower them  to make any other law prescribing additional qualifying /disqualifying grounds for election to the National Assembly, Houses of Assembly, governorship  and presidential election outside the express constitutional qualification and disqualification provisions as already provided in each or all of Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the 1999 Constitution   (as amended), and without amendment to any of those sections is for reason of inconsistency, unconstitutional and therefore null and vold.

*A declaration that section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 disqualifying a political appointee from being a voting delegate or be voted for at a convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election Is discriminatory, inconsistent with and in violent breach of the provision of each or all of Sections 42, 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), as well as Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and some is null and void by reason of its inconsistency.

*A declaration that by the introduction of the provisions of Section 84(12) into the Electoral Act, 2022, but in disregard of Section 84(3) of the some Act, the defendant has acted ultra vires the legislative powers vested in it under the provision of section 4 of the Constitution  (as amended) and/or in violation or breach of the provisions of Sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196, thereby rendering Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 unconstitutional, null and void.

*An order nullifying the provisions of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 by application of the blue pencil rule, for being unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and having been made in excess of the legislative powers of the defendant as enshrined in Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”

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Nyako denies Kanu fresh bail, says application abuse of court process

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Justice Binta Nyako of an Abuja federal high court on Tuesday dismissed an application for bail filed by Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Thejudge, in her ruling, described the application as an abuse of court process having been previously denied.

Kanu was re-arraigned on an amended 15-count charge bordering on treasonable felony.

However, on April 8, the judge struck out eight of the 15-count charge.

While counts 6,7,9,10,11,12,13 and 14 were struck out, the defendant is to stand trial on counts 1,2,3,4,5,8 and 15.

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Breaking: President Swears in Nigeria’s New Chief Justice

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President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in the new Chief Justice of Nigeria Olukayode Ariwoola.
The President performed the swearing ceremony today in Abuja.

The brief ceremony took place at the Presidential Villa.

NPO Eeports that Ariwoola will be serving in acting capacity pending the appointment of a substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Justice Ariwoola was born on 22 August 1958).
He was formerly a Justice of the Nigerian courts of appeal and on November 22, 2011, he was appointed to the bench of the supreme court of Nigeria as Justice, sworn in by the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
He was appointed and awaiting Nigerian Senate’s approval as Chief Justice of Nigeria on the 27th June 2022 following the resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammad.

His appointment comes amidst clamour for better condition of service at the apex court.

NPO

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Fireworks mistaken for gunfire cause stampede at New York parade

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A stampede occurred at a Pride Parade in the city of New York, United States, on Sunday, with hundreds of people attempting to flee after mistaking the sound of fireworks for gunfire, police said.

“There were no shots fired in Washington Square Park. After an investigation, it was determined that the sound was fireworks set off at the location,” the NY Police Department said in a tweet shortly after the incident.

Police told newsmen “there were no serious injuries” from the stampede.

Terrified people ran or walked briskly along a street adjacent to the square after the scare, videos on social media showed.

Tens of thousands of people attended Sunday’s LGBTQIA+ Pride parade, which wound its way through the streets of lower Manhattan under the blazing sun.

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The atmosphere was largely festive, although the shadow of Friday’s US Supreme Court decision to abolish a constitutional right to abortion — leaving states to legislate on the matter themselves — loomed over proceedings.

New York’s Pride parade is the second-largest in the United States, after San Francisco, and Sunday’s gathering was the first time it had taken place since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Organisers also said the US Supreme Court decision on abortion was “devastating.”

“This dangerous decision puts millions in harm’s way, gives government control over our individual freedom to choose, and sets a disturbing precedent that puts many other constitutional rights and freedoms in jeopardy,” the organisers said.

Many rights groups fear that the verdict on abortion could be the beginning of a broader push by the Supreme Court, currently dominated by a conservative majority, to curtail other freedoms won in recent decades, such as rights to contraception or same-sex marriage.

AFP/Punch

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