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Court orders PDP to re-examine suit against Buhari, Malami, others

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to take a second look at the suit it filed against President Muhammadu Buhari and some others over the contentious provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022.

Justice Inyang Ekwo ordered parties in the suit to address his court on the effect of the May 11, 2022 judgment of the Court of Appeal on a similar suit filed by the PDP.

On May 11, a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal, in Abuja in a judgment on the appeal by the PDP, set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court (FHC) in Umuahia which voided the provision of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022.

The panel headed by Justice Hamma Akawu Barka held that the FHC, uahia had no jurisdiction to have entertained the case because the plaintiff, Nduka Edede lacked the locus standi to have filed the suit in the first place.

It however held that if the court was to determine the case on merit, the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act was unconstitutional, being in breach of Section 42(1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution.

On Monday when the case by the PDP was called, Justice Ekwo said he is aware of the May 11, 2022 judgment by the Court of Appeal.

The judge asked plaintiff’s lead lawyer, Joseph Daudu (SAN) whether about the effect of the judgment on the case before his court.

Daudu responded by trying to distinguish both cases. He argued that both cases were not the same, noting that the issue about whether or not the provision affected human rights was not what was submitted to the court.

The lead lawyer to President Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Oladipo Okpeseyi (SAN) countered Daudu, arguing that both case are on all fours.

Okpeseyi argued that the cases are not distinguishable because they both border of the legality of the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022.

In view of the divergence in the opinions of both senior lawyers, Justice Ekwo ordered parties to address the court on the issue on May 24, 2022 when the case is scheduled for further hearing.

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