Femi Falana, SAN, has on Saturday, faulted the judgement of the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, that ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN, to immediately delete the controversial Section 84 (12) of the recently signed Electoral Act 2022, citing some Sections of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and 3 major cases, to back his argument, Page 36 learnt.
Recall, that the Section bars political appointees at any level to vote or be voted for “at the Convention or Congress of any political party, for the purpose of the nomination of Candidates for any election”.
Reacting however, to the controversies surrounding the Section, Falana in a statement obtained by Channels Television, argued that: “The learned Trial Judge fell into a great error.
“Sections 66 (1) (f), 107 (1) (f),137 (1) (f), and 182 (1) (f) of the Constitution, relied upon by his Lordship require persons employed in the Public Service of either the Federal Government or State Governments.
“Specifically, each of the aforesaid sections provides that: No person shall be qualified for election into the Senate or House of Reps if:
(f) he is a person employed in the Public Service of the Federation, or of any State, and has not resigned, withdrawn, or retired from such employment, 30 days before the date of election.
“By virtue of Section 318 of the Constitution, political appointees are not included in the list of persons employed in the Public Service. To that extent, Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act was annulled on a very faulty ground.
“No doubt, the Judge would have dismissed the case, if his attention had been drawn to the cases of DADA v. ADEYEYE (2005) 6 NWLR (Pt. 920) 1 at 19, ASOGWA v. CHUKWU (2003) 4 NWLR (Pt. 811) 540, OJONYE V. ONU & ORS (2018) LPELR-44223), where the Appellate Courts have held that political appointees or political office holders are not Public Servants, as provided for under the Constitution.”
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