The Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, has directed the Attorney General of the Federation to remove Section 84 (12) of the Amended New Electoral Act forthwith.
President Buhari asked the National Assembly to remove section 84 (12), which prohibits sitting cabinet officials from running for elective office without quitting, when he signed the Electoral Bill into law last month.
“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 nominating candidates for any election,” the clause states.
President Buhari contended that “Section 84 (12) constitutes a disenfranchisement of serving political office holders from voting or being voted for at conventions or congresses of any political party, for the purpose of nominating candidates for any election in cases where it is held earlier than 30 days before the national election.”
The Senate, however, declined to entertain the president’s request and threw out the bill proposing to alter the provision, citing members’ concerns that amending Section 84 (12) would violate civil service norms and be detrimental to society’s well-being.
Following the Senate’s refusal, the AGF stated on Wednesday that the Federal Government will evaluate all possibilities before taking a decision.
Malami went on to say that, while it is the role of parliamentarians to legislate, if it becomes necessary, the government will pursue other options such as submitting another request to parliament for reconsideration, going to court, or accepting the legislation as it is.