Today, the Nigerian Senate rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to amend the Electoral Act, 2022.
Last week, President Buhari wrote a letter to the National Assembly to ask them to amend the Act by deleting Section 84 (12), which he had described as a defect which conflicts with the existing constitutional provisions.
The bill passed its first reading on Tuesday despite the court’s order, which barred the Senate from taking action.
But a majority of lawmakers rejected the bill during today’s second reading.
Before the voice vote, many of the lawmakers expressed their minds on why they were against the amendment of the Act and asked the Nigerian Senate to abide by the court ruling, which stopped the National Assembly from tampering with the electoral law.
According to Section 84 (12), people with political appointments who want to participate in the elections must first resign their appointments before they can participate in primary elections.
On Monday, the Federal High Court in Abuja barred the President, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), and the Senate President from tampering with the Act.
In his decision on the ex-parte application which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) filed, Justice Inyang Ekwo said the Electoral Act has become valid law and they can no longer amend it without following due process of law.
The court specifically prevented them from removing section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act or preventing its implementation for the purpose of the 2023 general elections.
But Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said yesterday that the court’s decision would not stop the National Assembly from amending the Electoral Act 2022.
He added that the court’s ruling is against the 1999 Constitution (as amended) on the Separation of Powers.