Elections reorder: Buhari, AGF support suit challenging NASS

Elections reorder: Buhari, AGF support suit challenging NASS

- A suit has been filed at the Enugu court against the 2019 elections reorder by the National Assembly

- The suit has the National Assembly and INEC as the 1st and 2nd defendants

- President Buhari and AGF Abubakar Malami are 3rd and 4th respondents respectively

President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami have been named as the 3rd and 4th defendant in a case filed against the National Assembly's plan to reorder the sequence of the 2019 elections.

The president and the AGF reportedly told a Federal High Court in Enugu that they were not opposed to the suit challenging the attempt by the National Assembly to reorder the election sequence.

Independent reports that Dayo Akpata, the solicitor general of the federation and permanent secretary of Federal Ministry of Justice, made the position of both parties known at the hearing of the suit brought before the court by a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Anike Nwoga.

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Akpata, while citing relevant cases including Habib vs. AGF, AGF vs. ANPP and Attorney General of Bendel state vs. Attorney General of the Federation, Akpata argued that if in the exercise of legislative powers conferred on the National Assembly by the constitution, there is a defect, as to say that if a bill is not passed according to the law, the bill is null and void.

Godwin Onwusi, the counsel to the plaintiff, urged the court to grant the five reliefs sought by his client.

Onwusi asked the court to determine whether the National Assembly has the powers to compel INEC to conduct election in a particular sequence and even if they could, whether they could by law change the timetable already released by the electoral body before the passage of the bill.

The plaintiff counsel argued that case laws show that the National Assembly do not have such powers, as the powers given to INEC to supervise, conduct and organize elections is not subject to control by either the executive or the legislative arms of government.

Making his own submission, Chineme Onuoma, the counsel to INEC, the second respondent, said the commission was neither opposed or in support of the suit.

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The National Assembly was however not represented in court and did not file any document.

After listening to the submissions of the parties in court, Justice Liman reserved judgment for May 18.

Earlier NAIJ.com reported that a House of Representatives member, Peter Akpatason (Edo-APC), expressed optimism that the Supreme Court will upturn Abuja High Court’s ruling that National Assembly has no powers to alter elections sequence.

Akpatason told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the court’s ruling was an attempt to obstruct legislative process. According to him, the court’s ruling negates the provisions of the law.

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Source: Naija.ng

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