The Court of Appeal has ordered the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and others to stop taking steps that can frustrate the hearing of an appeal filed against the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abia State, which ordered the removal of section 84 (12) from the Electoral Act 2022.
The Appeal Court, Owerri, gave the warning when it granted nod to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to join as person interested in an appeal against the high court judgment which voided and struck down section 84 (12) of the Act.
The court granted PDP’s request to file its appeal as an interested person against the decision of the Federal High Court, Umuahia, on the order for removal of the section from the electoral law.
In the order of the court signed by the presiding justice of the appellate court, Justice Rita Noshakhare Pemu, the leave granted to the PDP to file an appeal was occasioned by the submissions of its counsel, D.C. Denwigwe (SAN).
The appeal marked CA/OW/87/2022 has Chief Nduka Edede and the AGF as the 1st and 2nd respondents respectively.
The order read in part: “Upon reading the application herein filed on 23-3-2022 with an affidavit in support sworn to by John Eronini on the same date and after hearing DC Denwigwe (SAN) for the applicant and Chief Emeka Ozoani (SAN) for the 1st respondent, order is hereby granted as follows: “Leave is hereby granted the applicant (PDP) to appeal as person interested in this appeal CA/OW/87/2022.
“Due to the exigencies of this appeal and its constitutional colorisation, there is need to hear this matter expeditiously.
“Accordingly, the appellant is hereby given up to Tuesday, 12th April, 2022, to file its notice of appeal and the parties are to file their respective briefs of arguments within three days from the date of service of the notice and record of appeal on the respondents.
“There shall be a further three days given to the appellant to file a reply.
“Parties should desist from taking any step to frustrate the hearing of the appeal.
“The matter is adjourned to the 4th of May, 2022, for the hearing of the appeal.
“Fresh hearing notice to be issued on the 2nd to the 12th respondents”.
A Federal High Court, Umuahia division had on March 18, 2022, declared as invalid and unconstitutional section 84 (12) of the amended Electoral Act.
Justice Evelyn Anyadike in a judgment ordered the AGF to delete the section from the amended Electoral Act.
Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act provides that, “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.