The Court of Appeal in Abuja has described Section 84 (12) of the 2022 electoral act as unconstitutional while setting aside the judgment of a federal high court in Umuahia, Abia State.
The lower court while delivering verdict in a suit marked FHC/UM/CS/26/2022, and filed by one Nduka Edede, had ordered the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami to expunge the controversial section from the legislation recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Abubakar swiftly swung into action to delete the section, which bars political appointees from seeking or participating during party congresses and elective positions without resigning, but was stopped by an order of the appellate court.
Delivering judgment on Wednesday in an appeal marked CA/OW/87/2022 and filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a three-member panel of the court headed by Justice Hamma Akawu Barka held that the Federal High Court Umuahia had no jurisdiction to have entertained the case because the plaintiff, Nduka Edede, lacked the locus standi to have filed the suit in the first place.
The appellate court added that Mr Edede did not establish any cause of action to have warranted his approaching the court on the issue because he did not establish that he was directly affected by the provision.
While determining the appeal on the merit, the appellate court however held that the provision is unconstitutional because it violates Section 42 (1)(a) of the Constitution and denied a class of Nigerian citizens their right to participate in election.