Election sequence: Court intervenes, orders NASS to stop action

    An Abuja Federal High Court has ordered the national assembly to suspend actions on the electoral act.
    Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had refused to sign the bill amending the timetable for the 2019 general elections and beyond, sayingthe electoral act would infringe on the “constitutionally guaranteed discretion” of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to organise, undertake and supervise elections.
    On Wednesday, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) urged National Assembly members to invoke their veto powers and sign the electoral act amendment bill into law following the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the bill.
    According to the CNPP Secretary-General, Chief Willy Ezugwu Buhari was ill-advised by the enemies of democracy to withhold assent to the recently passed Electoral Act amendment by the National Assembly.
    The court, in a ruling delivered by Justice Ahmed Mohammed on Wednesday, ruled that all asked parties in the matter to maintain status quo antebellum, “at least between now and the next adjourned date.”
    The presiding judge invoked section 6(6) of the 1999 constitution, as amended, which according to him, empowered the court to protect the Res (subject matter) of the substantive suit pending before it
    Accord Party is challenging the constitutionality of the ‎amendment to the electoral act.
    Wole Olanipekun, counsel to the party, had prayed the court for a “preservative order”. The judge held that the order is to preserve the substance of the main suit.
    Mohammed ruled that if the National Assembly went ahead to exercise its powers by overriding the president, the essence of the suit would be defeated.
    Chinelo Ogbozor, counsel to the National Assembly, had opposed the Olanipekun’s appeal but to no avail.