Supreme Court strikes out Buhari, Malami’s suit on Electoral Act correction, The Supreme Court has struck out a suit by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation( AGF), Abubakar Malami SAN seeking to void the provision of Section 84( 12) of the Electoral Act 2022.
In a judgment on Friday, a seven- member panel of the apex court, headed by Justice Musa Dattijo Mohammed, was amicable in holding that President Buhari, having shared in the timber of the law by subscribing to it, couldn’t turn around to fault its vittles.
The court upheld all the grounds of expostulation raised by the National Assembly, through its counsel,Dr. Olukayode Ajulo, against the capability of the suit marked SC/504/2022.
The President and the AGF had through their Lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi SAN argued among others, that Section 84( 12) of the Electoral Act was made in excess of the indigenous powers of the National Assembly and thus, unconstitutional and illegal.
The Supreme Court, still, agreed with Ajulo that the suit isn’t one of similar cases in respect of which the court’s original and fresh authorities could be invoked under Section 23( 2)( 1) of the Constitution and Section 1( 1)( a) of the Supreme Court( fresh governance) Act 2002.
The court blamed the complainants ’ argument that the suit was informed by the National Assembly’s failure to give effect to President Buhari’s request that Section 84( 12) of the Electoral Act be deleted for allegedly offending the vittles of the Constitution.
The apex court held that the President demanded the indigenous or legal rights or power to request or impel the National Assembly to amend or make an Act.
In the supereminent judgment, Justice Emmanuel Agim noted that the suit touched on the substance of the powers given to the President by Section 58( 4) of the 1999 Constitution, which he exercised by sharing in the timber of theE.A. 2022.
Justice Agim held that since the President backed the creation of the Act, with the support of the AGF, both complainants couldn’t turn around to query its legitimacy.
He added “ The Constitution didn’t give for the involvement of the court by the President after exercising his powers under Section 58( 4) of the Constitution one way or the other.
“ I agree with the argument by the counsel to the National Assembly( Ajulo) that this suit is reprobation of what the first complainant( the President) had approbated, and this can not be allowed in law.
“ Having consented to the Electoral Bill 2022 and thereby accepted that it has come law, he can not, thus, bring a suit, contending that the conduct performing from his assent isn’t indigenous, desirable and maintainable, thereby diverting from his assent.
“ As it is, one of the accretive conditions in Section 1( 1)( a) of the Supreme Court( fresh governance) Act 2002 for the incantation of the fresh governance of this court to entertain an forming suit between the President and the National Assembly doesn’t live.
“ The complainants have no fairly enforceable legal right or power that gives life to questions raised for determination in the forming process, and that can be defended or executed by the reliefs claimed for.
“ The disagreement, in this case, doesn’t involve any question or include the actuality or extent of any legal right to the complainants. thus, this suit can not be entertained by this court in the exercise of its fresh governance under Section 1( 1)( a) of the Supreme Court( fresh governance) Act 2002
“ Indeed the original governance vested in this court by Section 23( 2)( 1) of the 1999 Constitution to determine controversies between the confederation and the state or between countries can not be invoked unless the disagreement involves any question on which the actuality of a legal right depends.
“ There’s no part of the Constitution that makes the exercise of the legislative power of the National Assembly subject to the direction and control of the President of Nigeria.
“ The first complainant’s( the President) written request to the National Assembly to amend the Electoral Act 2022 by deleting Section 84( 12) therein, is a violation of Section 4( 1) of the 1999 Constitution.
“ This suit, which was filed in response to the turndown of the National Assembly to grant the said request is an employment of the judicial process to help realise the said violation.
“ The court can not be engaged in this kind of unconstitutional and illegal enterprise. The suit is, thus, an abuse of the judicial process, ” Justice Agim said.
He further agreed with Ajulo that the court demanded the governance to entertain the suit, and added that there was no useful purpose to be served by determining the case on the merit.
Other members of the panel – judges John Okoro, Amina Augie, Mohammed Garba, Abdu Aboki and Ibrahim Saulawa – agreed with the supereminent judgment.
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