President Muhammadu Buhari and Abubakar Malami, who is the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) have filed a lawsuit at the Supreme Court. They filed the lawsuit on April 29. Both of them are listed as plaintiffs. Whereas, the defendant of this lawsuit is the National assembly. As Buhari had signed the Electoral Act 2022 earlier in February. He wanted Section 84(12) to be removed, but the National Assembly rejected his proposal. The Court of Appeal in Abuja agreed with Buhari and regarded this clause as unconstitutional. As a result, President Buhari told his allies in the government who were running for the election campaign to resign.
Dr. Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, resigned following President Buhari’s Directive. Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, and Minister of State for Education, Ogbonnaya Onu, also resigned from the office. President Buhari and Malami state that this clause should be removed from the Electoral Act. As, it is inconsistent with the nation’s constitution.
The plaintiffs urged the Supreme Court to make “A declaration that the joint and or combined reading of section 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022, which also ignores Section 84(3) of the same Act, is an additional qualifying and/or disqualifying factors for the National Assembly, House of Assembly, Gubernatorial and Presidential elections as enshrined in the said constitution, hence unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void.”
On the Other hand, the national assembly had requested the Supreme Court to remove the lawsuit. Which was put in place by Buhari. In their defense, the national assembly had said that the supreme court shouldn’t be involved. As this is the legal matter of the state. According to the National Assembly, the constitution gives the lawmakers legislative powers. They can make laws for the betterment of Nigeria and its people.
The National Assembly, on behalf of their lawyer, said, “We submit that the first plaintiff having on Friday, February 25, 2022, signed the Electoral Bill, 2022 into law in accordance with the Constitution, cannot approbate at the same time by making a U-turn by using the machinery of this Court as enshrined in Section 232 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and the Supreme Court (Additional Jurisdiction) Act of 2002 to partly undo that which by the provision of Section 58 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended) has been done.
“By assenting to the passage of the Electoral Bill, 2022 into law, the first plaintiff has conclusively discharged his duty under the Constitution and there is no basis to attempting to undo that which he has done by virtue of his powers under Section 58 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).” They added.
They further added, “My Lords, we must commend the audacious attempt by the plaintiffs to build a castle in the air. However, we must be guided by our knowledge of the law of physics and the dynamics of our mortal world in calling the plaintiffs to order so as to prevent the impending waste of state resources by embarking on what should be ordinarily be found within the infantile imagination of a six-year-old who is still exploring the infant probabilities of overindulgence in Marvel comics.”