Omeiza Ajayi, Abuja
Former governorship candidate and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress APC in Rivers State, Prince Tonye Princewill has lauded Friday’s Federal High Court judgment on the contentious Section 84(12) of the 2022 Electoral Act which President Muhammadu Buhari had requested the National Assembly to delete.
The court, sitting in Umuahia, had declared that the section was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever and ought to be struck down.
It maintained that the section could not stand since it was in conflict with the 1999 Constitution which provides thst appointees of government seeking to contest elections were only to resign at least 30 days to the date of the election and that any other law that mandated such appointees to resign or leave office at any time before that was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal null and void to the extent of its inconsistency to the clear provisions of the Constitution.
Reacting to the judgment, Princewill told Saturday Vanguard that it was needless for the National Assembly to have turned their backs on the oresisnecy who had requested them to delete the said section.
He said:”Two arms of government have spoken. If the third arm of government had simply harkened the first appeal, this second voice need not have been involved. People have rights enshrined under the constitution. Hardened criminals have rights. Why won’t politicians?
“If you want them to forfeit those rights, just make a constitutional amendment, instead of a bill that contradicts the same constitution you are sworn to uphold. It is neater and the President would have signed it.”
On the judgment of a Federal Capital Territory FCT High Court which vacated the injunction against the March 26 national convention of the APC, Princewill said the ruling party would emerge stronger.
“It is a very just outcome to a necessary process for the continued evolution of an institutional vehicle, like the APC. While others may have worried, I didn’t flinch.
“Moreso when the President spoke. He confirmed what I had long since suspected after the series of interviews he gave the media recently. He wants to hand over to a President who loves Nigeria and is willing to work hard for it. Because he is looking ahead to his legacy. All that starts with the convention.
“People would do well to listen. What we have seen with Soludo is the tip of the iceberg. A new strain of governance is coming.”