By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja
The Court of Appeal on Wednesday set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State which voided the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022, insisting that the man who filed the suit did not have the locus standi to do so.
However, determining the appeal on the merit, the appellate court held that the controversial provision of the Act is unconstitutional because it violates Section 42 (1)(a) of the Constitution and denied a class of Nigerian citizens their right to participate in election.
With the judgment, it was not exactly clear whether President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointees, like Ministers Rotimi Amaechi, Abubakar Malami, Godswill Akpabio, Chris Ngige, among others can now pursue their presidential and gubernatorial ambitions, within the time frame available.
A source said anyone of them, because he has the locus standi and bent on his ambition, has to go to court to challenge the knotty provision in the Electoral Act.
In a judgment in Abuja, a three member panel of the court headed by Justice Hamma Akawu Barka held that the Federal High Court Umuahia had no jurisdiction to have entertained the case because the plaintiff, Nduka Edede, lacked the locus standi to have filed the suit in the first place.
The appellate court added that Edede did not establish any cause of action to have warranted his approaching the court on the issue, because he did not establish that he was directly affected by the provision.
The Court of Appeal struck out the suit marked: FHC/UM/CS/26/2022 which Edede filed before the Umuahia court.
The judgment was on the appeal marked: CA/OW/87/2022 filed by the PDP.