By Chris Ochayi

ABUJA— The re-ordering of the sequence of the 2019 general election by National Assembly has taken a new turn as an Abuja-based lawyer, Mr. Chyma Anthony, filled a suit before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, challenging the legitimacy of the legislature to pass the bill.

Respondents in the suit are President of Nigeria, National Assembly, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and Attorney-General of the Federation.

He is praying the court to, among other things,   determine whether the decision by National Assembly to usurp the powers of the INEC to fix the dates of election into Houses of Assembly and the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, does not contravene the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

In the suit, the plaintiff is further praying the court to order the defendants to cause an appearance to be entered for them in defence of what he described as “moves made by the defendants that have injured and affected him.”

The reliefs sought by the plaintiff include that the court should declare that by the combined effect of the provisions of Sections 76 and 132 of the constitution, INEC and not the National Assembly, is the only body authorised to fix the respective dates for elections into both Houses of National Assembly and the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that the powers conferred on INEC by the constitution cannot be taken away from it by the National Assembly.

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