OAGF Gives Effect To Court Judgment On Section 84(12)

THE Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (OAGF) and Minister of Justice late Friday said that it will give effect to the court judgment which voided Section 82(12) of the Electoral Act, in line with the dictates of the law and the spirit of the judgment.

The OAGF said judgment of the court will be recognised by the government printers in printing the Electoral Act.

A Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia the Abia State capital, Friday, declared unconstitutional Section 84(12) of the newly amended Electoral Act.

The court presided over by Justice Evelyn Anyadike while delivering judgement held that the section is in violation of a provision in the 1999 Constitution as amended and should therefore be deleted.

Recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had while signing the amended Electoral Act called the attention of the National Assembly to amend the section as it violates the Constitution and breached the rights of political appointees.

Buhari had written a letter to both Chambers of the National Assembly seeking amendment of the section but the Senate rejected the President’s request.

In the judgment on Friday, the Presiding judge held that the Constitution has 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 is unconstitutional, invalid, illegal null and void to the extent of its inconsistency to the clear provisions of the Constitution.

According to OAGF the Act will be gazetted factoring the effect of the judgment into consideration and deleting the constitutionally offensive provision accordingly.

“The provision of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022 is not part of our law and will be so treated accordingly.

“This is in line with the dictates of chapter 7, Part 4, Section 287 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) on enforcement of decisions that makes it a point of duty and obligation on all authorities and persons to have the judgment of the federal High Court, among others, to be enforced, Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said in a statement.