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Deleting section 84(12) of electoral act still in progress, says Malami

Deleting section 84(12) of electoral act still in progress, says Malami
March 23
17:12 2022

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, says the federal government is taking the necessary steps towards deleting section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The section reads: “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.”

Last Friday, a federal high court in Umuahia, Abia state, ordered the attorney-general of the federation to delete the section from the amended electoral act.

Evelyn Anyadike, the judge, held that the section was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void and cannot stand.

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Anyadike ruled 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 to resign at least 30 days to the date of the election.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday, Malami said the process of implementing the judgment is still ongoing.

“By the judgment, the court directed the office of the attorney-general to take the necessary steps to delete the provision, which in essence implies that the provision should not form part of our laws,” he said.

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“Whether it has been deleted or has not been deleted, is indeed a function of agencies of government and associated, relevant parastatals.

“But the true position of it in that respect is the fact that government printers, and indeed Law Reform Commission, among others, that are responsible for the codification and gazetting of our laws, are working naturally, hand in hand with the office of the attorney general for the purpose of ensuring that what goes into our laws are indeed in line with the provision of the law.

“So what I am saying in essence, it is indeed a work in progress against the background of the fact that the Law Reform Commission is involved statutorily, which is a parastatal under the office of the attorney general, is a party to the process of codification.

“The government printers, which is saddled with the responsibility of gazetting our laws on the request of the office of the attorney general, is equally involved.

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“And above all, as you rightly stated, the possibility of an appeal is equally there. So, what I am saying in effect is the deletion of section 84 Subsection 12 is a work in progress and is being considered as such.”

Meanwhile, the house of representatives has described the judgment as an aberration and vowed to appeal against the verdict.

The green chamber is contending that the court has no right to interfere with the powers of the national assembly to make laws.

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