Nigeria: Resign Before May 16, Buhari Orders Ministers Seeking Elective Positions

All members of President Buhari’s cabinet vying for public office will have to resign on or before May 16, 2022,” Mr Ogunlesi wrote.

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed all ministers seeking elective public office to resign before May 16.

This was disclosed by the information minister, Lai Mohammed, at the end of Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Mr Buhari.

The Special Assistant to President Buhari on Digital and New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi, also stated this in Twitter post.

“Just in: All members of President Buhari’s cabinet vying for public office will have to resign on or before May 16, 2022,” Mr Ogunlesi wrote.

Some of President Buhari’s ministers who have indicated an interest in elective positions are transportation minister Rotimi Amaechi who seeks to be president; Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general, who seeks to be Kebbi governor; Labour minister Chris Ngige who seeks to be president but has yet to purchase his form and minister of state for health Emeka Nwajiuba who also seeks to be the president.

Mr Buhari’s directive was made known on the day the Court of Appeal conditionally validated a section of the electoral law that mandates political office holders like ministers to resign before they can contest for elections or vote in party primaries.

Read our previous story on the appeal court ruling below.

The Court of Appeal has voided a ruling of a high court that nullified the controversial Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022. Although the appellate court, essentially, validated the controversial law, it said it would have ruled otherwise if the main suit was properly brought before it.

The law bars political appointees like attorney-general Malami from seeking elective public office or voting as delegates in a party primary unless they resign their positions.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Wednesday, voided the judgment of the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, which nullified the controversial section.

Delivering its judgment, on Wednesday, a three-member panel of the appellate court headed by Hamma Barka, held that the Federal High Court, Umuahia, lacked jurisdiction to have adjudicated the suit.

The appellate court further said the plaintiff, Nduka Edede, lacked the legal standing to have filed the case.

The panel also held that Mr Edede did not establish any cause of action that would have given the grounds to approach the court over the matter.

Consequently, the appellate court struck out the case marked: FHC/UM/CS/26/2022 which Mr Edede lodged before the federal court in Umuahia.

The judgment was on the appeal marked: CA/OW/87/2022 and filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Law Unconstitutional

PREMIUM TIMES had reported that Mr Buhari while signing the amended bill into law in February, urged the parliament to expunge Clause 84(12) of the 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.”

The Court of Appeal said if it were to decide the case on its merit, the provision is unconstitutional because it is in conflict with Section 42 (1)(a) of the constitution.

The court said the controversial clause in the Electoral Act denies a class of Nigerians their right to participate in elections.

Details later…

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