The Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State has ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation to immediately delete Section 84 (12) of the Amended New Electoral Act. The court in a judgment delivered by Justice Evelyn Anyadike on Friday held that the section was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever and cannot stand as it is in violation of the clear provisions of the Constitution.
In the suit marked FHC/UM/CS/26/2022, Justice Anyadike held that Sections 66(1)(f), 107(1)(f), 137(1)(f) and 182(1)(f) of the 1999 Constitution already stipulated that appointees of government seeking to contest elections were only to resign at least 30 days to the date of the election and that any other law that mandated such appointees to resign or leave office at any time before that was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal null and void to the extent of its inconsistency to the clear provisions of the Constitution.
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. 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”.