Electoral Act: NASS Counters Buhari, Malami On Section 84(12) At Supreme Court
The National Assembly has countered a suit filed by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on the controversial Section 84(12) of the Electoral Amendment Act 2022.
While the President and minister asked the Supreme Court to interpret the provision of the section of the law, the lawmakers opposed the request to strike it out.
Their position was contained in a counter-affidavit filed by the counsel to the National Assembly, Kayode Ajulo, on Monday at the apex court in Abuja.
The National Assembly asked the Supreme Court to strike out the suit instituted by President Buhari and Malami, saying the court cannot be invoked to amend the provision of any law validity made by lawmakers in the exercise of their legislative powers as granted by the Constitution.
According to them, the 1999 Constitution as amended gives the National Assembly the power to make laws for good governance in Nigeria.
Besides seeking interpretation of the contentious section, the President and the minister, in the suit filed on April 29, sought an order of the apex court to strike out the section of the Electoral Act.
The duo who were plaintiffs in the suit contended that Section 84 (12) of the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2022 was inconsistent with the provisions of Sections 42, 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), as well Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and People and Peoples Rights.
For them, the Constitution already provides qualification and disqualification for the offices of the President and Vice President, Governor and Deputy Governor, Senate and House of Representatives, House of Assembly, Ministers, Commissioners, and Special Advisers.
President Buhari and Malami, therefore, prayed the court for “A declaration that the joint and 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 provision 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, House of Assembly, Gubernatorial and Presidential elections as enshrined in the said constitution, hence unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void.”