The Supreme Court on Friday struck out a suit filed by President Muhammad Buhari and his attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to challenge the controversial section 84(12) of the Electoral Act.
A seven-judge bench of the Supreme Court, led by Musa Dattijo-Muhammad, unanimously struck out the suit, describing it as an abuse of court process.
Aokmaye Agim, who delivered the lead judgement, held that Buhari, having earlier assented to section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022, cannot turn around to approach the court to strike it down.
“There is no provision in the constitution that vests the president the power to challenge the constitutionaility or desirability of a legislation after he has assented or denied his assent. In this case, the president gave his assent,” Agim ruled.
He added that the request by Buhari to the National Assembly to delete the provision amounted to constitutional violation.
Agim described the suit as a ploy by Buhari to get the court to validate the violation.
“The president has no power to request or compel the national assembly to amend any part of the Act of the National Assembly in which he has participated in its making,“ he added.
Agim said, “This suit cannot be entertained by this court under section 1(1) (a) of the Additional Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court Act.“
Other members of the panel consented to the lead judgement. They are Dattijo-Muhammad, John Okoro, Amina Augie, Lawal Garba and Ibrahim Saulawa.
Buhari had signed the the Electoral Act 2022 into law on February 25, 2022.
But he later wrote the National Assembly to delete section 84(12) of the law on the grounds that it was unconstitutional and was made in excess of the powers of the National Assembly.
The National Assembly rejected the request.