2023: Malami, Amaechi, Ngige May Contest Primaries Without Resignation - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Friday, March 18, 2022

2023: Malami, Amaechi, Ngige May Contest Primaries Without Resignation

The Daily Crucible | Saturday, March 19, 2022

The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; and other political appointees believed to have interest in 2023 elective offices may be able both to participate in the All Progressives Congress(APC) primaries expected to begin in May as well as contest during the next general elections without necessarily resigning from their appointments.

This new development followed a favourable court judgement hours ago on Friday, prompting the Federal Government of Nigeria to announce plans to implement the said court verdict allowing political appointees to run for office without resigning.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made the government’s position known in a statement Friday night.

A Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, had on Friday, nullified Section 84(12) of the newly amended Electoral Act, saying it violated the provisions of the Constitution.

The Senate had earlier unianimously rejected Electoral Act Amendment Bill sent by the Preident, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

However, elected officers including governors, deputy governors, the Vice-President and members of the National Assembly and the state legislature will be allowed to contest and participate in the primaries.

Section 84(10) of the Act specifically 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.”

However, on Friday, the court, in a judgment delivered by Justice Evelyn Anyadike, held that the section was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever, saying it ought to have been struck out.

Mr Nduka Edede, a lawyer and chieftain of Action Alliance party, had approached the court, in the suit that had the Attorney General of the Federation as the Defendant.

The plaintiff had asked the court to determine whether Section 84(12), when read together with Sections 66(1)(f) 107(1)(f)(137(1)(f) and 182(1)(f) of the 1999 Constitution, was not inconsistent.

Reacting in a statement, Malami said, “The office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice will accordingly give effect to the Court judgment in line with the dictates of the law and the spirit of the judgment.

“The judgment of the Court will be recognized by the Government printers in printing the Electoral Act.

“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.”

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