Reps Consider Reporting Judge To NJC Over Order To Delete Section Of Electoral Act
Miffed at a ruling by Justice Evelyn Anyadike of a Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State, to delete the provisions of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022, the House of Representatives is considering reporting her to the National Judicial Council.
Justice Anyadike’s nullification of the section empowers the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to delete the section from the Act.
The House also resolved to appeal the judgement and have it upturned.
The lawmakers also asked Malami to allow the National Assembly to exercise its right to appeal the case.
Several members of the House, at the plenary on Wednesday, criticised the judiciary and the executive of usurping the powers of the legislature, stating that only the parliament and not a presidential appointee can amend the law.
The Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, said he got to know about the case in the media. He said he discovered that the chamber was not served any notice, since it was not a party to the suit.
Gbajabiamila said President Muhammadu Buhari was rightly advised to approach the National Assembly for an amendment to the Act.
READ ALSO: Lawan Defies Court, Continues With Electoral Act Amendment
The speaker stated that he would not sit back and allow the parliament to be ridiculed on his watch.
Gbajabiamila said it was curious that the National Assembly was joined in the suit and the judgment was secured from a court in Umuahia.
The speaker stated that the parliament must appeal against the judgment and ensure that it was set aside. According to him, it is a mistake and the lawmakers must correct it.
Gbajabiamila appealed to the AGF to “tarry” and not take over the responsibility of the National Assembly.
The Senate had also on Tuesday resolved to take a decision on the matter today.
Section 84(10) of the Act 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.”
On Friday, Anyadike had held that the section was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever, saying it ought to have been struck out.
A lawyer and chieftain of Action Alliance party, Nduka Edede, 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.
Malami had said his office would accordingly give effect to the court judgment in line with the dictates of the law and the spirit of the judgment.
READ ALSO: Buhari Signs Electoral Act Amendment Bill, Rejects Section
The minister said, “The judgment of the court will be recognised 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 make 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.”
Meanwhile, the National Assembly had been divided over the ruling by a Federal High Court, Abuja, stopping the President Muhammadu Buhari,Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN); and the parliament from tampering with the Electoral Act 2022.
While the Senate had insisted on going ahead to consider the request by the President, who asked the federal parliament to delete Section 84(14) of the new electoral law, the House said it would obey the court.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, had stated that the ruling by the FHC negates the principles of Separation of Powers. The chamber had gone ahead to consider the executive bill for second reading and voted against it.
However, Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu, while addressing journalists on Tuesday, argued that the chamber would obey the Rule of Law principle.
Buhari, while assenting to the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment) Bill at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on February 25, had highlighted sections of the new law that would revolutionalise the electoral system in the country but expressed reservations about Section 84 (12).
The President had last week officially conveyed his reservation about Section 84 (12) of the Act 2022 to the National Assembly, asking the lawmakers to delete it.
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BREAKING: PDP Suspends Anyim, Fayose
Former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; former president of the Senate, Pius Anyim; Prof Dennis Ityavyar and Aslam Aliyu were on Thursday suspended from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP made the suspension on Thursday after an extensive review of the affairs of the party, pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).
The PDP also referred the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba.
“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” the statement added.
BREAKING: Ekweremadu, Wife Found Guilty Of Organ-trafficking In UK
A United Kingdom court has found former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, guilty of an organ-trafficking plot, which saw them bring a 21-year-old man to the UK
They were convicted of conspiring to exploit the man from Lagos for his kidney, reports the BBC.
Prosecutors told the Old Bailey the organ was to be removed and given to the couple’s daughter, Sonia, aged 25.
She was cleared of the same charge.
The victim, a street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
They were later arrested at the airport while trying to leave the UK.
NLC Orders Workers To Shut CBN Offices Nationwide Over Naira Scarcity
Worried about the continued scarcity of naira, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has officially declared a nationwide . The national president of the union, Joe Ajaero, gave the directive during a media briefing in Abuja.
Ajaero also directed that affiliate unions constituting the NLC should be on standby for picketing exercises across all branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria nationwide.
The NLC earlier issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to end the petrol and cash scarcity being experienced in the country.
Ajaero told journalists on Wednesday that the industrial action became the last resort of the NLC following the expiration of the ultimatum.
He said the decision to picket the CBN branches became necessary as the federal government and the CBN had failed to show any commitment to addressing the situation.
Ajaero lamented that despite the Supreme Court order that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023, the situation kept getting worse.
He said workers could not access cash to pay fares to work.
He also criticised the pricing irregularities in the petroleum sector.
“Last week, we gave an ultimatum for the review of the cash crunch bedevilling the country, but we have discovered to our dismay that as at this moment not much effort has been made to ameliorate the situation. Government is still foot-dragging on these issues we raised,” Ajaero said.
“Based on this, we met again this morning to review our position and resolved that by Wednesday next week all CBN branches will be picketed. Workers are directed to stay at home too because people cannot eat, workers can no longer go to the office, we have been pushed to the wall.
“We have decided to take our destiny in our hands, we have mobilised our workers on this exercise.”
The NLC has no fewer than 43 affiliate unions which include, but not limited to, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, and the National Union of Road Transport Workers.
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