The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed May 24 for the definite hearing in a suit instituted against President Muhammadu Buhari by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Section 84 (11) and (12) of the Electoral Act 2022.
Justice Inyang Ekwo fixed the date on Monday to enable the President and PDP to address the court on the effect of the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Abuja which declared the contentious Section 84 (12) as unconstitutional, null and void.
On his own, he raised the issue on the ground that the PDP’s suit bothered on the same section of the law in which a higher court had made a pronouncement that would bind on the lower court.
In his response, counsel to PDP, Joseph Daudu, attempted to draw a distinction between the two matters and why the judge should proceed to hear the suit filed by the main opposition party.
But Oladipupo Okpeseyi, who is the counsel to President Buhari and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, disagreed with the PDP’s lawyer.
He insisted that there was no difference between the suit filed at the court in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, and that of the PDP, saying both cases were on the same section.
Justice Ekwo subsequently held that all parties in the matter should address him on the next adjourned date on whether to abide by the decision of the Court of Appeal or proceed with the one before him.
The PDP had filed a suit against President Buhari at the court, praying for an order of interim injunction restraining him and other defendants from refusing to implement the duly signed Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act.
Their grouse was that having assented to the bill on February 25, the President cannot give any directive to the National Assembly to take immediate steps to remove the said section or any other one from the Electoral Act.