- after the Senate rejected the President’s request to change the newly approved Electoral Act of 2022.
Before signing the modified Electoral Act on Friday, February 25, President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) requested that Section 84(12) be removed, which prohibits political appointees from voting at party conventions and congresses for the election of party executives and electoral candidates.
“No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at any political party’s convention or congress for the purpose of nominating candidates for any election,” the clause adds.
The President stated that it had imposed qualification and disqualification criteria that were unconstitutional by imposing blanket restrictions and disqualification on serving political officeholders who were legally protected.
“The actual implementation of Measure 84(12) of the Electoral Bill, 2022, if assented to, will expose serving political office holders to inhibitions and restrictions alluded to under sections 40 and 42 of the 1999 Constitution as amended,” Buhari remarked while rejecting the section.
“It is critical to highlight that the sole constitutional expectation imposed on serving political office holders who qualify as public officers within the context of the constitution is that they quit, withdraw, or retire at least 30 days before the election date.”
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, told State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Wednesday that the government had three options: ask the National Assembly for reconsideration, go to court, or accept the law as it was.
While MPs are responsible for enacting laws, Malami stated that the Federal Government would use all available measures if necessary.
He did say, however, that the government has yet to make a decision on how to proceed with the issue.
“The government has a lot of choices to examine and exploit,” the AGF said. One alternative is to request that the National Assembly rethink the law’s section. The other alternative is to examine it in light of the law’s context and spirit to see what it can accomplish. And all of these dishes have been placed on the table.
The administration has not taken a definitive stance on the issue. The government is reviewing; the government is looking; and the government will make a decision at the right time if more action is required. If there is no longer a necessity for such action, the government will proceed with it as is.
“However, as of today, the government has taken no stance on what needs to be done by the executive deriving from the provisions of the Electoral Act in relation to which questions of constitutional conflict have been raised.”
The AGF explained that the US government had made an extradition request for Abba Kyari, the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, and that the request was still being processed.
He bemoaned the fact that media stories had caused widespread misunderstanding of the situation and asked the media to constantly clarify the facts in order to avoid misunderstanding.
Kyari’s case with the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, he stressed, was local and unrelated to the US issue.
“There is no ambiguity,” Malami clarified. However, there is a major misunderstanding, possibly malicious or otherwise, on the part of certain journalists who have not taken the time to study, grasp, and act on a solution.
“Well, you see, there’s an aspect of the Abba Kyari case that’s being handled at the international level, primarily in the United States.” And, as a result of the Hushpuppi case, the US requested extradition. That is something I believe you should clarify.
“They submitted an extradition request for Abba Kyari.” And, in terms of how these things are done, when it comes to extradition, the attorney-office general’s normally presents an international extradition request to the judiciary for consideration after receiving it.
“So, determining whether a person should be extradited or not is a role, or possibly a multilateral function, involving the international committee that makes the request, the attorney general’s office, and the judiciary, to which the request is brought for study, analysis, and determination.” So, in response to a request from the international community, the United States has allied with Abba Kyari. That one is distinct, distinct, and clear case.
While the extradition request was being considered, another case involving the NDLEA appeared, which Malami described as a “local case devoid of international dimension.”
“And that brings about the operation, implementation, and enforcement of Nigerian law,” he continued. Then, ostensibly as a result of it, he was accused in a different field entirely unrelated to the international case. As a result, you have two unique and independent cases, one with an international dimension and the other with a local dimension.
“As a result, your concept of conflict does not come up.” However, the concept of a misperception was created by journalists who may have reported incidents out of context without taking the time to comprehend the exact provisions, dimensions, and personalities of the case. What I’m saying is that there’s nothing quite like confusion, nothing quite like conflict, and there are two unique and distinct circumstances.”