Article 84(12): Buhari and Malami drag NASS to S’Court

The controversial latest section of Section 84(12) of the Election Amendment Act 2022 was not heard as it emerged that President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, filed a complaint. before the Supreme Court, asking for an interpretation of the disputed clause.
In the complaint filed on April 29, MM. Buhari and Malami, who are the plaintiffs, named the National Assembly as the sole defendant.
Article 84(12) has been the subject of intense political litigation and debate in Nigeria since President Buhari signed the amended Elections Act 2022 in February this year.
Shortly after signing it into law, President Buhari had urged parliament to remove the controversial clause, but the National Assembly rejected the president’s request.
The Abuja Court of Appeal last week overturned the Federal High Court’s judgment that removed the clause from the law, while also agreeing with the lower court that the new provision was unconstitutional.
Based on the decision of the Court of Appeal, President Buhari had ordered the political appointees, who declared their intention to run for elective office, to resign.
The President’s directive forced the Minister of Labor and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, to set aside his presidential aspiration, but Niger Delta Ministers, Godswill Akpabio; Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu and Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba have resigned from their posts.
In the lawsuit marked SC / CV / 504/2022 and filed on April 29, MM. Buhari and Malami are seeking a Supreme Court order to strike out the section of the Election Law, which they say was inconsistent with the National Constitution.
According to the court document, the plaintiffs argue that section 84(12) of the Elections (Amendment) Act 2022 is inconsistent with the provisions of sections 42, 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), as well as Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
Plaintiffs also argued that the Constitution already provides for qualification and disqualification for the offices of President and Vice President, Governor and Deputy Governor, Senate and House of Representatives, House of Assembly, ministers, commissioners and special advisers.
They urged the Supreme Court to make: “A declaration that the joint and/or combined reading of Articles 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 factor in qualification and/or disqualification for the national election. Elections to the Assembly, House of Assembly, Governor and President as enshrined in said constitution are therefore unconstitutional, illegal, null and void. »
In the same vein, the National Assembly asked the Supreme Court to strike out the lawsuit brought by President Buhari. The National Assembly, in its counter-affidavit, filed by its attorney, Kayode Ajulo, stated that the Supreme Court cannot be invoked to alter the provision of the validity of any law made by legislators in the exercise of their legislative powers as granted by the Constitution.
They argued that the 1999 Constitution as amended empowered the National Assembly to legislate for good governance in Nigeria.
“We submit that the first plaintiff who on Friday, February 25, 2022, signed the Election Bill of 2022 in accordance with the Constitution, cannot concur at the same time by turning around using the apparatus of this Court as recorded in Section 232 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the Supreme Court (Additional Jurisdiction) Act 2002 to set aside in part what by the provision of Section 58 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) was done.
“By accepting the passage of the Elections Bill 2022, the first plaintiff has conclusively discharged his duty under the Constitution and there is no reason to attempt to undo what he has done under its powers under Section 58 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“Gentlemen, we must salute the plaintiffs’ audacious attempt to build a castle in the air. However, we must be guided by our knowledge of the law of physics and the dynamics of our mortal world to call the plaintiffs to order in order to prevent the impending waste of state resources by embarking on what should normally be found in the childhood imagination. of a six-year-old child who is still exploring childhood probabilities of abuse in Marvel comics.