2023: A/Court voids judgement on section 84(12) of Electoral Act


By Kenneth Atavti

Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, vacated the judgement of the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, which voided the provision of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-man panel of Justices led by Justice Hamma Akawu Barka, held that the High Court acted without jurisdiction.

It also held that the Plaintiff, Mr. Nduka Edede, lacked the locus standi to institute the action.

According to the appellate court, Edede, failed to establish any cause of action that warranted him to approach the court on the issue, noting that the plaintiff was unable to prove how he was directly affected by that section of the newly amended Electoral Act.

Consequently, it struck out the suit marked: FHC/UM/CS/26/2022, which Edede filed before the Umuahia court.

Nonetheless, the appellate court, while determining the appeal on the merit, held that the said provision of the electoral law was unconstitutional because it is in breach of Section 42 (1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, stressing that the section denied a class of Nigerian citizens their right to participate in election.

With the decision of the appellate court yesterday, political appointees who are nursing political ambitions like the governor of central bank Godwin Emefiele, the Attorney general of the federation and minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, minister of state petroleum Timi Preye Silva, minister of science and Technology Chief Ogbonna Onu, Minister of Transportation Rotimi Ameachi, Minister of Niger/ Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and the minister of state Education have to resign immediately in compliance with the judgement delivered yesterday.

The judgment followed an appeal marked: CA/OW/87/2022, which was filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The Nigerian Pilot recalled that the High Court in Umuahia, had in March, struck down section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 and ordered that it should be deleted by the Attorney-General of the Federation for being inconsistent with the Constitution.