Senate on wednesday resolved to appeal the ruling of a Federal High Court in Abia State, which nullified the controversial section 84 (12) of the amended Electoral Act.
This was coming following a motion on Urgent need to appeal the judgement of the Federal High Court Umuhia on Suit Number FHC/UM/CS/26/2022.
The section requires ministers, head of agencies and other political appointees to resign before participating in primaries, convention and other electoral activities.
However, the Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, on Friday nullified Section 84(12), saying it was a violation of the provisions of the constitution.
The judge specifically asked the attorney general to delete the said section from the act
Senator George Seikibo and 81 other senators sponsored the motion.
In a unanimous resolution the senators agreed to appeal the judgement suit marked FHC/UM/SC/26/2022 for the court to set aside the judgement.
While presenting the motion senator Seiko indicated that, the Electoral Act 2022 enacted by the National Assembly followed due process of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution
“The Senate opines that section 84 (12) of the 2022 Electoral Act exclusively refers to nomination conventions and congresses called for candidate selection and not participation in the general election which Sections 66(1)(f), 107(1)(f), 137(1)(g) and 182(1)(g) were referring to;
He expressed the believe that the interpretation of the meaning of the words ‘civil service’ and ‘public service’ as provided in Part IV: Interpretation, Citation and Commencement in Section 318 is unambiguous as given below:
Part IV: Interpretation, Citation and Commencement
318, (1) In this Constitution, unless it is otherwise expressly provided or the context otherwise requires-
“civil service of the Federation” means service of the Federation in a civil capacity as staff of the office of the President, the Vice-President, a ministry or department of the government of the Federation assigned with the responsibility for any business of the Government of the Federation;
“public service of the Federation” means the service of the Federation in any capacity in respect of the Government of the Federation, and includes service as
(a) Clerk or other staff of the National Assembly or of each House of the National Assembly; (b) member of staff of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the Federal High Court, the National Industrial Court, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, or other courts established for the Federation by this Constitution and by an Act of the National Assembly;
(c) member of staff of any commission or authority established for the Federation by this Constitution or by any Act of the National Assembly; Government of the Federation;
(g) staff of any company or enterprise in which the Government of the Federation or its agency owns controlling shares or interests; and
(h) members or officers of the armed forces of the Federation or the Nigerian Police Force or other government security agencies established by law;
He noted that there is a difference between the civil service or public service and political appointment;
He pointed out the need for the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should show concern on the judgement especially when she was not given opportunity to represent herself in a matter such as this that emanates from her legitimate functions
He expressed the believes further that letting the judgment go without concern will become a precedence on which any person could go to the court and obtain judgment to ridicule the good intentions of the National Assembly as an institution.