The Congress of All Progressives has barred political appointees from voting at its national convention to be held on Saturday.
The party made this known in a press release on Thursday.
The statement was titled “Beware of Political Office Holders Who Have Been Elected Delegates”.
It read, “The APC Guardians Extraordinary Convention National Planning Committee has declared that all political appointees who have been elected delegates to the National Convention scheduled for 3/26/2022 WILL NOT VOTE given the controversy surrounding Section 84 (12) of the Elections Act, 2022.
“However, political appointees can still attend as observers.”
The Senate had earlier unanimously rejected the Election Law Amendment Bill sent by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Retired).
In the rejected bill, the president asked the National Assembly to amend section 84(10) of the law to allow political party appointees to contest and participate in the primaries without resigning.
Section 84(10) of the Act specifically reads: “No politically appointed person at any level shall be a voting delegate or be elected to a convention or congress of a political party for the purposes of the nomination of candidates for election.”
Unknown to many members of the public, a lawyer and leader of the Action Alliance party, Mr Nduka Edede, addressed a Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia about the matter – in a lawsuit marked FHC/MU/SC/26/2022 , with the Attorney General of the Federation as defendant.
The plaintiff asked the court to determine whether section 84(12), read in conjunction with sections 66(1)(f), 107(1)(f)(137(1)(f) and 182(1) (f) of the 1999 Constitution, was not inconsistent.
The judgment, delivered by Judge Evelyn Anyadike, struck down section 84(12) of the recently amended electoral law, saying it violated the provisions of the Constitution.
Anyadike found the article to be unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void, and of no effect, saying it should have been removed.
Hours after the judgment was delivered, the Office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice announced the federal government’s plans to implement the court’s judgment allowing political party appointees to run for office without resigning.
Some of the president’s ministers who are planning to run for different posts include the Federation’s Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, who is eyeing the governorship seat of Kebbi State; Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika, who is considering contesting the governorship of Katsina State; Transport Minister Rotimi Amaechi, who is said to be eyeing the presidency.
Others said to have political ambitions include Minister of Labor and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige; the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; and a few others.
On Wednesday, March 23, the Senate decided to appeal the judgment of the Federal High Court of Umuahia, reversing the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Elections Act 2022.
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