The Court of Appeal Abuja Division has held that the provision of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022 is unconstitutional.
The provision had made it impossible for appointees of Government to contest any electoral position without resigning, an idea the President, Muhammadu Buhari, criticised while signing the electoral act in February 2022.
With the new ruling by the court, Ministers in the Buhari cabinet, such as Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu, Abubakar Malami, and Chris Ngige, among others, may not resign their appointments before contesting the 2023 elections.
The Appellate Court had held that the provision is unconstitutional because it violated Section 42(1a) of the Constitution and denied a class of Nigerian citizens their right to participate in an election.
Meanwhile, the Court also set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court in Umuahia which voided the provision of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022.
While delivering judgment on Wednesday, the three-member panel headed by Justice Hamma Barka held that the Federal High Court, Umuahia, had no jurisdiction to have entertained the case as the plaintiff, Nduka Edede, lacked the locus standi to have filed the suit in the first instance.
The court added that Mister Edede did not establish any cause of action to have warranted him approaching the court on the issue because he did not establish that he was directly affected by the provision.
Therefore, the Court of Appeal struck out the suit that Edede filed before the Umuahia court.