Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana has warned that Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), stands to be liable of contempt of court if he goes ahead to delete section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The Senior Advocate Of Nigeria, SAN accused Malami of manipulating the federal high court to issue conflicting orders on the validity of section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The section provides that: “No political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”
Recall that a federal high court in Abuja restrained the national assembly from taking any further step regarding section 84 (12).
But last week, a federal high court in Umuahia, Abia state, ordered the attorney-general of the federation to delete the section from the amended electoral act.
Malami had, thereafter, said the federal government was taking the necessary steps towards deleting the section.
Reacting to Malami’s statement, Falana said if Malami goes ahead to delete section 84(12), he would be liable to contempt of court as the Abuja division of the federal high court has restrained him and other defendants from enforcing the provision “pending the determination of the motion on notice for an interlocutory injunction”.
“We submit, without any fear of contradiction, that unless the valid and subsisting order of the Abuja judicial division of the federal high court is set aside either by the trial judge or an appellate court, the attorney-general of the federation cannot delete section 84(12) of the Electoral Act,” he said.
“It is trite that the attorney-general cannot choose and pick the orders of the court to obey or disobey, more so, when it is undoubtedly clear that the attorney-general deliberately set out to manipulate the federal high court to issue conflicting orders in a desperate move to annul section 84(12) of the Electoral Act.
“No doubt, this is the first time in the entire history of Nigeria that the office of the attorney-general of the federation has engaged in forum shopping for favorable orders of the federal high court or any other court.
“It is high time the dangerous manipulation of the federal high court was stopped as the nation prepares for the 2023 general election.”