The Senate on Wednesday rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request to amend the Electoral Act, 2022.
The proposed law, “A bill for an Act to Amend the Electoral Act 2022” was overwhelmingly rejected during its second reading.
Before a voice vote on the bill, which nays had it, several lawmakers spoke against going ahead to amend the Act and urged that the Senate abide by a court ruling, which stopped the National Assembly from tampering with the electoral law.
President Buhari had, in a letter to the National Assembly last week, asked the federal lawmakers to amend the Act, by deleting Section 84 (12), which, according to him, constitutes a “defect” that is in conflict with extant Constitutional provisions.
The section required political appointees to resign their appointment before participating in primary elections.
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday barred President Buhari, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Senate President from tampering with the Act.
The judge, Inyang Ekwo, in a ruling on an ex-parte application by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said the Electoral Act had become a valid law and could not be amended without following the due process of law.
Specifically, the court restrained President Buhari, the AGF and the National Assembly and other defendants in the suit from removing section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act or preventing it from being implemented for the purpose of the 2023 general elections.
But the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday, said the court ruling would not stop the National Assembly from amending the Electoral Act 2022.
He said the court ruling violated the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) on Separation of Powers.