An Abuja High Court today restrains President Buhari from going ahead to amend the new Electoral Act.

The Court asked the National Assembly to halt the amendment process until issues of due process are clarified in court.

The opposition PDP sued President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to prevent them from amending the Act.

The President signed the new Electoral Act only 11 days ago on 25 February 2022.

The opposition Party said in court filings that the President cannot use the National Assembly to amend the Act.

Consequently, the Court agreed to urgently temporarily restrain the President and National Assembly from continuing with the amendment.

Justice Inyang Ekwo granted PDP’s urgent application because the President cannot tamper with the Act outside due process.

Additionally, Justice Inyang agreed that the proper place to challenge validity of any existing law is in a court of law.

PDP’s counsel James Onoja, a senior advocate, said in court filings that only the courts can initiate amendments to a valid law.

Offending section

Meanwhile, the President on 1 March sent letters to leaders of the National Assembly to alter or strike out Section 84(2) of the Act.

The section reads as follows:

“No political appointee at any level shall be voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election”.

Initially, the President complained about the sub-section when he signed the Act into law on 25 February this year.

Buhari expressed the view that it disenfranchises public officers and is also against constitutional rights of participation in electoral process.

The President asked lawmakers to public officers one month to resign in order to participle in the electoral process.

Analysts said today that the struggle between the two dominant parties is the advantage the law denied public officers.

There were complaints that public officers used their position to give advantages or secure the positions they intended to contest.

The National Assembly voted to exclude public officers from interfering in the process.

Electoral Act: Court restrains Buhari on amendment