.electoral act

By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo

THE former Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Akwa Ibom State, Barr Uwemedimo Nwoko, SAN, has described the struggle to inject and remove section 84(12)of the new electoral Act as self-serving.

Nwoko made the assertion over the weekend in Uyo, while reacting to the decision of the National Assembly to Appeal the recent judgement of the Federal High Court  Umuahia, on the matter.

He stressed that neither the struggle by members of the National Assembly to inject the provision nor the fight by heads of the Executive to remove it were aimed at protecting Nigeria’s democracy but for selfish political interests.

His words: “The struggle for inclusion or exclusion of section 84(12) is purely selfish on the part of both the Executive and the Legislature. That provision is self-serving on both sides.

“The National Assembly members are trying to ensure that that provision is injected into that Law so that the Executive from the President to the governors will not have the opportunity of using their political appointees to overwhelm them during primaries in their various political parties.

“For instance some senators who want to contest for governorship in their states, by the time they get there, they will discover that they are already overwhelmed with outstanding Executive votes coming from the governor’s side.

“So the National Assembly is injecting that provision to protect themselves, and the Executive is fighting it because they also want to protect themselves, it’s not because they are protecting democracy in Nigeria. That provision is self-serving on both sides”

 Nwoko however, said the decision of the National Assembly as an interested party to appeal the judgement was legitimate.

He added that any other interested person or group of persons including other political parties also have the right to appeal against that judgement.

 “But like I have said before, that provision whether it remains in the Electoral Act or not, will not help the advancement of our democratic process, nor will it take anything away from it.

” It is all about manipulation of political interest by politicians of the present generation. And I think the National Assembly also has the right to take that judgement to a higher court to find out whether what the Federal High Court said is right or wrong”, He added

Vanguard News Nigeria

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