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Court orders public office holders to resign 30 days to election

A Federal High Court in Umuahia, the capital of Abia State, has stricken down Section 84(12) of the recently modified Electoral Act, which the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd. ), had written to the National Assembly to remove.

The court, in a decision issued by Justice Evelyn Anyadike, ruled that the clause was unconstitutional, illegitimate, illegal, null and void, and of no consequence, and that it should be stricken down since it cannot exist when it violates unambiguous sections of the Constitution.

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It should be noted that, when signing the modified Electoral Act, the President requested the National Assembly to strike the section since it contradicted the Constitution and infringed the rights of government appointees. In addition, the President issued a letter to

Justice Anyadike, in the suit marked FHC/UM/CS/26/2022 held that Sections 66(1)(f), 107(1)(f), 137(1)(f) and 182(1)(f) of the 1999 Constitution already stipulated that appointees of government seeking to contest elections were only to resign at least 30 days to the date of the election and that any other law that mandated such appointees to resign or leave office at any time before that was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal null and void to the extent of its inconsistency to the clear provisions of the Constitution.

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Counsel to the Plaintiff, Emeka Ozoani, SAN while addressing newsmen stated that by this judgment, the National Assembly is not required to further make any amendments to the section as the import of this judgment is that Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act is no longer in existence or part of the Electoral Act.

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