Nigeria’s Supreme Court on Friday struck out a suit filed by President Muhammad Buhari and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, challenging the constitutionality of section 84(12) of the Electoral Act.
A panel of seven justices of the court, led by Musa Dattijo-Muhammad, unanimously struck out the suit, describing it as an abuse of court process.The section provides that “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 the nomination of candidates for any election.”
Justice Aokmaye Agim, who delivered the lead judgement, held that Buhari, having earlier assented to section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022, cannot turn around to approach the court to strike it down.
“There is no provision in the constitution that vests the president the power to challenge the constitutionaility or desirability of a legislation after he has assented or denied his assent. In this case, the president gave his assent,” Agim ruled.
He also said that the request by Buhari to the National Assembly to delete the provision amounted to constitutional violation.Justice Agim described the suit as a ploy by Buhari to get the court to validate the violation.
The judge held: “The president has no power to request or compel the national assembly to amend any part of the Act of the National Assembly in which he has participated in its making.
“This suit cannot be entertained by this court under section 1(1) (a) of the Additional Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court Act. “