The Federal High Court Abuja presided over by Justice Inyang Ekwo, on Monday restrained President Muhammad Buhari, Attorney General of the Federation and Senate President from tampering with the newly amended Electoral Act 2022.
Justice Ekwo granted the plea for an interim injunction and adjourned further hearing in the matter till March 21.
Other respondents are the Speaker, House of Representatives, Clerk of National Assembly, Senate Leader, House of Representatives Leader and Independent National Electoral Commission INEC.
Also joined as defendants in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/247/2022 are Deputy Senate President, Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Deputy Senate Leader and Deputy House of Representatives Leader.
Justice Ekwo made the order in a ruling on an ex-parte application moved by the Peoples Democratic Party.
Specifically, the court restrained all the defendants in the suit from removing section 84(12) of the Electoral Act or prevent it from being implemented for the purpose of the 2023 general elections.
The court agreed with James Onoja SAN, counsel to the PDP that the Electoral Act has become a valid law and cannot be tampered with without following due process of law.
It was the court’s opinion that the proper place to challenge propriety or otherwise of any existing law is court of competent jurisdiction.
The PDP had dragged President Buhari to court to challenge a fresh move to tamper with the newly amended Electoral Act already signed into law, recently by the President.
By the suit, the PDP is praying the court for an order of interim injunction restraining Buhari and other defendants from refusing to implement the duly signed Electoral Act or in any manner witholding the Electoral Act from being put to use including the provisions of section 84(12) of the said Act pending the resolution of the suit.
The PDP also pleaded the court for an order stopping the National Assembly from giving effect to President Buhari’s request to remove section 84 (12) from the Electoral Act or take any step that will make the provision inoperative pending the resolution of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.
The PDP contends that President Buhari having assented to the Bill on February 25, 2022, cannot give any directive to the National Assembly to take immediate steps to remove section 84 (12) or any section of the Act on any ground whatsoever.