16 March 2018

Nigeria: Election Sequence - Senate Protests Court Ruling, Writes CJN

The Senate yesterday resolved to write the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen over the ruling of a Federal High Court, restraining the National Assembly from acting further on the amendment to the Electoral Act.

A Federal High Court presided by Justice Ahmed Mohammed on Wednesday restrained the National Assembly from acting further on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018.

Mohammed in his ruling on an interlocutory injunction by the Accord Party ordered all parties to maintain status quo until next Tuesday when the case would be heard in court.

The ruling came a day after President Muhammadu Buhari rejected the amendment citing constitutional matters.

The Senate resolution reads: "The Senate should notify and write a letter to the CJN informing him of the latest situation and remind him of the separation of powers as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution, so that it would caution the judicial officers to avoid this kind of situation in the future."

The resolution followed a point of order by the minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio (PDP, Akwa Ibom) and seconded by the Senate leader, Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe).

Senate President Bukola Saraki said the responsibilities of the arms of government are well spelt out in the Constitution.

"We all are very clear on this issue that there is separation of powers. We have responsibilities and the judiciary has its own. Everyone must work to fulfil the mandate of their responsibilities. We should liaise with the Office of the CJN on this issue," he said.

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