Senate President, Ahmed Lawan

The Nigerian Senate has rejected the request by President Muhammadu Buhari for amendment of section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act which prevents appointive political office holders from contesting elections at the party primary level without first resigning their positions.

The lawmakers, in a voice vote on Wednesday, unanimously opposed a motion that the bill be read and considered for a second time.

The request was rejected after the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi (APC Kebbi North) made the lead debate for the second reading of the bill on Wednesday.

President Buhari last week wrote the Senate seeking an amendment of section 84 (2) subsection 12 in the 2021 Electoral Act.

The clause reads: “No political appointee at any level shall be a 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.”

Preesident Buhari said the clause constituted a disenfranchisement of serving political office holders from voting or being voted for at conventions or congresses of any political party, for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election in cases where it holds earlier than 30 days to the national election.

The Federal High Court in Abuja in a ruling on Monday, March 7 stopped President Buhari, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, from tampering with the newly signed amended Electoral Act 2022.

Ruling on an ex-parte application by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Justice Inyang Ekwo agreed with the counsel to the party, James Onoja, that the Electoral Act has become a valid law and cannot be tampered with without following due process of law.