Senate Moves To Amend Electoral Act, Despite Court Ruling
The Senate has moved to amend the 2022 Electoral Act, disregarding a Federal High Court order restraining the National Assembly from tampering with the newly amended Act.
Senate President Ahmad Lawan during plenary on Tuesday said the constitution stipulates separation of powers and the judiciary cannot stop another arm of government in performing its roles in a democracy.
Lawan said this during the first reading of the amendment of the Electoral Act during the legislative proceedings.
“I find it very necessary to talk at this point because, with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, our governance system is based on the Presidential system of government where there is a clear-cut separation of powers and exercise of powers.
“The Judiciary under no circumstance can stop the legislature, the National Assembly from performing its legislative duties. We know what our due processes are.
“Just like we won’t venture in what the Judiciary does, the Judiciary should understand that we have our processes. I believe the members of the National Assembly know their work, know their onions, and would do what is right.
“This is due process, we are not doing anything outside the law. It is within our exclusive right to consider whatever request we receive from Nigerians either from the Executive or private members Bill,” Lawan said on Tuesday.
The court, in a ruling delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo on Monday, March 7, specifically barred all the defendants in the suit from removing section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act or preventing it from being implemented for the purpose of the 2023 general elections.
Ruling on an ex-parte application by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Justice Ekwo agreed with the counsel to the party, James Onoja, that the Electoral Act has become a valid law and cannot be tampered with without following due process of law.