Court orders n'assembly to suspend action on election reordering bill

Postado Março 15, 2018

He added that if no restraining order was issued and the National Assembly went ahead to exercise its powers under Section 58 (5) of the Constitution by overriding the President's withholding of assent that the essence of the suit would have been defeated.

In the ruling, the court ordered the parties to "maintain status quo ante bellum" that stays every proceeding pending the determination of the motion on notice filed by the Accord party.

A Federal High Court in Abuja has restrained the National Assembly from acting further on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 wherein it changed the sequence of elections.

Buhari had explained that he declined assent to the amendment of the Electoral Act owing to the amendment to the sequence of the election in Section 25 of the Principal Act may infringe on the constitutionally guaranteed discretion of INEC to organise, undertake and supervise all elections provided in section 16 (a) of the Constitution.

The Senate has held up some of President Muhammadu Buhari's nominees for the committee in a political spat which has left it unable since the start of the year to form a quorum to set interest rates.

He had further stated that the amendment to Section 152 (325) of the Principal Act may raise constitutional issues over the competence of the National Assembly to legislate over local government elections.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, the second defendant to the suit, was not represented by a counsel, while INEC, which is the third respondent, was represented by its lawyer, Mr. Taminu Inuwa, who said he had no objection to the application.

Meanwhile, a professor of law at the Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli in Enugu state has said that Buhari's decision to withhold assent to the Electoral Act as amended by the National Assembly is in order.

According to her, "The motion is not ripe for hearing".

He fixed Tuesday for the hearing of the motion for the interlocutory injunction, the same order which was granted during the Wednesday's proceedings but would likely last till the final determination of the suit if the application succeeds.

Olanipekun said he will not oppose the adjournment provided the National Assembly gives an undertaken not to tamper with the cause of action.

The plaintiff is claiming "a declaration that the legislative powers vested in the national assembly by the constitution do not empower or imbue it with the right, liberty or authority to pass or purport to pass any bill into Law".