On Monday, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the National Assembly from amending or repealing Section 84 (12) of the recently enacted Electoral Act, 2022.
The order was issued by Justice Ekwo while deciding on an exparte case filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) questioning the constitutionality or otherwise of the National Assembly amending a bill that had already been signed into law by the president.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently signed the Electoral Act into law, with the proviso that provision 84 (12) be repealed in order to strengthen democracy in Nigeria.
The clause specifically prohibits appointed political office holders from voting or being voted for at political party conventions and congresses.
The National Assembly is expected to consider the president’s request this week, with the goal of eliminating the relevant provision.
However, after hearing from the PDP’s counsel, Chief Ogwu Onoja (SAN), who argued the exparte plea, the court decided that it had merit and granted it as requested.
All defendants are hereby barred from taking any further action regarding President Buhari’s request for the deletion of Section 84 (12) awaiting the hearing and judgment of the substantive litigation, according to Justice Ekwo.
The judge also ordered the petitioners to serve the order as well as the procedure on all defendants, and the main suit was deferred until March 21.