- It was a rough session at the Senate as federal lawmakers debated the court's verdict which declared Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act illegal
- A rowdy debate started when Senator George Sekibo from Rivers challenged the court's position during plenary on Tuesday, March 22
- Due to the inability of the red chamber to agree on the way forward on the issue, it was deferred to Wednesday, March 23
Senate's deliberation on a Federal High Court ruling that declared Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act as illegal was chaotic during its plenary on Tuesday, March 22.
The division in opinion started when Senator George Sekibo from Rivers opposed the court's ruling and insisted that it was a bad precedent that must be addressed, The Nation reports.
According to Senator Sekibo, unless such a ruling is expunged, future actions of the National Assembly would be challenged in courts.
Urging other senators to put on hold other issues to be discussed, Sekibo stated:
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“This issue is very important. Those who went to court to challenge our action didn’t include us as an interested party. We were not even aware that a matter was even in court.
“Suddenly, we were told that a judgment was given and the Federal Government immediately gazetted it.
“This is dangerous and we need to take a position immediately. This is important to guide against such occurrences.”
However, following conflicting views on the ruling, the Senate deferred the debate to Wednesday, March 23.
Chaos as court opposes Buhari, resists re-amendment of Electoral Act
Recall that a ruling of the Federal High Court in Abuja had barred the Senate from making changes to the Electoral Amendment Act as advised by President Muhammadu Buhari who recently gave assent to the act.
In the suit, the court barred the red chamber from removing section 84 (12) of the act ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Among the defendants named in the suit are AGF Abubakar Malami, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, clerk to the National Assembly, Senate leader, House of Representatives leader, and the Independent National Electoral Commission.