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COURT DEFERS RULING ON ELECTORAL ACT SUIT

By NBF News
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Justice Okechukwu Okeke of a Federal High Court, Lagos has fixed June 30 for its ruling on a suit instituted by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) against the National Assembly, praying the court to nullify the enactment of Section 140(2) and Section 87(8) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, claiming to be unconstitutional, null and void.

The judge deferred the ruling sequel to the adoption and conclusion of submissions by both the plaintiff and defence lawyers on the matter.

At the resumed hearing of the case ACN, through its counsel, Victoria Alonge had prayed the court to strike out the Attorney General's name as a defendant, which was obliged by the court , when the National Assembly's counsel, Sebastine (SAN) did not object.

ACN also conceded that section 141 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended earlier sought to be struck out was constitutional and should be allowed to stay in the Act by the court.

The party, however, urged the court to strike out Section 87(8) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended for being inconsistent with Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended. She urged the court to declare that the enactment of Section 140(2) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, ultra vires the powers of the National Assembly by virtue of sections 1(3), 4(8), 6(1)&(2), 6(6)(a)&(b), 239(1), 246 and 285 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.

Sebastine, who challenged the locus standi of the party to institute the suit, submitted that while , he agreed that any Act of the National Assembly that was in conflict with any provision of the Constitution was null and void, he, however, disagreed that the National Assembly had no constitutional competence to enact Section 140(2) of the Electoral Act, 2010.