Thursday, 15 March 2018

Court Orders National Assembly To stop Election Re-Ordering Debate For Now

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday ordered the National Assembly to stop taking any further actions on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018, which seeks to provide the order in which the Independent National Electoral Commission must conduct the 2019 general elections.

The restraining order issued by Justice Ahmed Mohammed is to last till March 17, which is the next hearing date.

Delivering ruling on an oral application by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), lawyer to the plaintiff, Accord Party, Justice Mohammed held that the restraining order was made to preserve the substance of the main suit. President Muhammadu Buhari had, on Tuesday, informed the National Assembly that he had withheld his assent to the bill which was earlier passed by both chambers of the National Assembly. There have been threats by some legislators that the National Assembly would evoke its powers under Section 58(5) of the Constitution to override the President’s withholding of assent by two-thirds majority votes of both chambers.

The oral application by Olanipekun for a “preservative order” was opposed by the counsel representing the National Assembly, Chinelo Ogbozor, during Wednesday’s proceedings. The Attorney-General of the Federation, the second defendant to the suit, was not represented by a counsel.

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