President Muhammadu Buhari’s bid to modify the Electoral Act of 2022 was denied by the Senate on Wednesday.
During its second reading, the proposed law, “A bill for an Act to Amend the Electoral Act 2022,” was unanimously rejected.
Before a voice vote on the bill, which had a majority of nays, some parliamentarians spoke out against amending the Act and encouraged the Senate to follow a court order that barred the National Assembly from changing the election legislation.
In a letter to the National Assembly last week, President Buhari requested that the Act be amended by eliminating Section 84 (12), which he claims is a “defect” that is in violation with existing constitutional provisions.
Before voting in primary elections, political appointees were forced to renounce their positions.
President Buhari, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), and the Senate President were all forbidden from interfering with the Act by a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.
In a judgement on an ex-parte motion by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the judge, Inyang Ekwo, stated the Electoral Act had become a genuine legislation that could not be modified without going through the proper channels.
The court specifically barred President Buhari, the AGF, the National Assembly, and other defendants in the case from repealing or obstructing the implementation of section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act for the 2023 general elections.
On Tuesday, however, Senate President Ahmad Lawan stated that the court’s decision would not prevent the National Assembly from changing the Electoral Act 2022.
He claimed that the court’s decision breached the separation of powers principles of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).