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Section 84(12): Court Fixes June 28 For Report On Supreme Court Decision

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, fixed June 28 for report on the outcome of the Federal Government’s suit seeking an interpretation of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Amendment Act, 2022 before the Supreme Court.
Justice Inyang Ekwo adjourned the matter after counsel for the plaintiff (Peoples Democratic Party), Joseph Daudu, SAN, told the court that the hearing of his case would depend on the apex court decision on the suit before it.
Upon resumption of the matter, Daudu informed that though the case was adjourned for all parties to look at their processes, some applications were served on him by some of the respondents.
Justice Ekwo then asked the senior lawyer if he had done a review of his case going by the directive he gave on the last adjourned date.
Daudu said he discovered that the judgement of the Court of Appeal on Section 84(12), if applied, would make the work of the court easier because the appellant court agreed with his client on two points.
He, however, said that the Appeal Court judgement “is still merely persuasive since it is not the final court.”
According to him, it is only the Supreme Court that has the final say.
Daudu further said that if there would be a likelihood of decision on the suit filed by the president and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) on Thursday at the Supreme Court, the outcome would be either for the judgement to be binding on them or to allow the court hear their matter.
“So, all is pointing to the direction to know what the Supreme Court will say,” he said.
The judge then said that since processes had been filed and no response had been done, that showed that no issue had been joined.
“That means this matter has to abate,” he said.
Justice Ekwo, who ordered all the parties in the suit to file relevant processes before the new date, adjourned the matter until June 28 for report.
The court had, on May 16, asked the PDP to take a critical look at the development in its suit to know if it could still continue with the case.
Ekwo gave the advice after counsel for the PDP, Daudu, informed the court that based on the Court of Appeal judgement sitting in Abuja, the court could continue with the matter before it.
The PDP had sued the President, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Clerk of National Assembly.
It also sued Senate leader, House of Representatives leader and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 1st to 8th defendants, respectively.
Others include Deputy Senate President, Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Deputy Senate Leader and Deputy Leader of the House of Representatives as 9th to 12th defendants in the matter.
The court had also joined Allied People’s Movement (APM) as 13 defendant in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/247/2022.
The PDP had challenged the legality or otherwise of the National Assembly tinkering with Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, after it had been signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Amidst debate about the subject matter, a Federal High Court, Umuahia in Abia and presided over by Justice Evelyn Anyadike, on March 18, ordered the AGF to delete Section 84(12) of the Act.
Anyadike, in the judgement, held that the section was “unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever and ought to be struck down as it cannot stand when it is in violation of the clear provisions of the Constitution.”
Anyadike held that Sections 66(1)(f), 107(1)(f), 137(1)(f), and 182(1)(f) of the 1999 Constitution already stipulated that appointees of government seeking to contest elections were only to resign at least 30 days to the date of the election.
But the Court of Appeal in Abuja, on May 11, vacated the judgement of the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, which voided the provision of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel of justices led by Justice Hamma Akawu Barka, held that the person that instituted the matter at the lower court, Mr Nduka Edede, lacked the locus standi to do so.
The appellate court, which invoked its constitutional powers to look at the substantive suit on its merit, however, held that Section 84(12) was unconstitutional and in breach of Section 42 (1)(a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), stressing that the section denied a class of Nigerian citizens their right to participate in election.
The Federal Government had also on April 29 filed a suit at the Supreme Court, seeking an interpretation of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Amendment Act, 2022.
In the suit filed by the president and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), who are the plaintiffs, listed the National Assembly as the sole defendant.
They are seeking an order of the apex court to strike out the section of the Electoral Act, saying it is inconsistent with the nation’s Constitution.
The Supreme Court had also joined the Rivers Attorney-General and the Speaker of the state House of Assembly as defendants in the suit on May 19 and fixed Thursday for hearing.

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Wike Hails Rivers United For Winning 2021/2022 NPFL

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has congratulated the Rivers United Football Club for emerging the winner of the 2021/22 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).
Rivers United was officially confirmed the champions of the 2021/2022 NPFL season following Plateau United 1-2 away loss to Akwa United, last Saturday.
The governor commended the players and coaching staff of the state-owned football club, yesterday, following the memorable victory, which ended their 5-year NPFL title wait.
Wike, who attributed the achievement of Rivers United to the talented team’s determination, said it was most heartening that by virtue of the league win, the club would represent the country at the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League next season.
He further added that Rivers United’s triumph at the 2021/2022 NPFL has brought a wave of joy and happiness for the people of Rivers State and the country at large.
“I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation to the coaching staff and particularly the capable players of Rivers United for the valuable efforts they made to emerge the winners of the 2021/2022 NPFL.
“The Government and good people of Rivers State are very proud of the team’s exploits following their dogged performances and resilient display throughout the 2021/2022 season. It is worthy to note that over the years, Rivers United has brought so much joy and happiness to football fans and supporters all over the country. This victory, no doubt, marks a major milestone in Rivers State football’s history.”

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Registration For CBN, AFF eNaira Hackathon Opens, Today

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Registration for the eNaira hackathon, geared towards ideating innovative solutions for the newly launched digital currency, organised by the Africa Fintech Foundry (an innovative hub established to identify and accelerate innovative startups in Africa), in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), is billed to open on June 27, 2022 and run till July 21, 2022.
A statement issued by the organisers said the main event, which is billed to kick-off from August 4, 2022, is part of efforts to drive financial inclusion, facilitate macroeconomic growth and integrate Nigerian economy to the world leading economies through innovation and cutting edge emerging technologies.
It, therefore, urged interested participants to visit the eNaira Hackathon @www.affcbn.com
With the theme “eNaira – Africa’s Gateway to a Digital Economy,” the hybrid hackathon will bring together teams of talented entrepreneurs, developers, designers, solution developers, problem-solvers, out-of-the-box thinkers, and code magicians from Africa to develop innovative solutions that will drive improved adoption of the eNaira.
Speaking on innovation in Nigeria’s payments system ecosystem, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, recently said: “We cannot deny the fact that the newly introduced CBDC (eNaira) would be necessary in the future to ensure Nigeria is competitive as the world becomes increasingly digital.
“We have seen in the past few years how digital currencies have opened international economies to individuals who wield them and how seamless they have made trading, buying, investing and other economic activities.
“We desire to achieve this and more with the eNaira with the underlying goal to boost Nigeria’s economic outlook.
“Innovators at the hackathon will develop solutions in the areas of international remittance, trans-border payment, blockchain, financial inclusion, and trade (AfCTFA).”
The statement issued by the organisers said, the hackathon will address the strategic points to eliminate possible glitches that could hamper smooth transactions being carried out with the eNaira.

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NECO Begins SSCE,Today

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The National Examination Council (NECO) has debunked the alleged postponement of its 2022 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) for school-based candidates in the country.
The examination body said the 2022 SSCE would commence on Monday, June 27, and end on August 12, 2022.
NECO made this known in a statement made available to newsmen, last Saturday, by its spokesperson, Azeez Sani, in Minna, Niger State.
The statement read: “The 2022 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) for school-based candidates conducted by the National Examinations Council (NECO) will commence on Monday, 27th June, 2022.
“State Ministries of Education, Principals, Commandants and all stakeholders are enjoined to disregard any speculation on the alleged postponement of the examination.
“The council has put all necessary measures in place to ensure a seamless conduct of the 2022 Senior School Certificate Examination.
“The 2022 NECO Senior School Certificate Examination will end on Friday, August12, 2022.
“Candidates are to be examined in 76 subjects during the examination.”

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