President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered Ministers and other appointees with ambition to contest the 2023 general elections, to resign by Monday, May, 16, 2022
Those affected are Ministers of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio; Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; who have joined the presidential race on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Others are Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who is seeking to contest governorship position in Kebbi State, Minister of State Mines and Steel, Uche Ogar, who is running for governorship position in Abia State, and the Minister of Women Affairs, Paulline Tallen, who declared her ambition to contest for the senatorial seat in Plateau State.
Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, disclosed this while briefing State House Journalists at the end of Federal Executive Council, presided over by President Buhari.
BusinessDay checks show that this may not be unconnected with Court of Appeal, Abuja, ruling on Wednesday, which set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court in Umuahiaa, Abia State which voided the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022, creating more anxiety over the political ambitions of serving Ministers.
Section 84 (12) had barred serving political office holders from voting or being voted for at Conventions or Congresses of any political party, for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election in cases where it holds earlier than 30 days to the National Election.
Recall that Transportation , Labour and Employment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Petroleum Resources Ministers Rotimi Amaechi, Chris Ngige, Ogbonaya Onu and Timipre Sylva had all picked the nominations forms for 2023 Presidential election
Read also: Why Emefiele would want to run for president without first resigning
This is as Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has also picked the forms to contest the gubernatorial election for Kebbi state in 2023.
In a judgment in Abuja, a three member panel of the court headed by Hamma Barka held that the Federal High Court Umuahia had no jurisdiction to have entertained the case because the plaintiff, Nduka Edede lacked the locus standi to have filed the suit in the first place.
The appellate court added that Edede did not establish any cause of action to have warranted his approaching the court on the issue, because he did not establish that he was directly affected by the provision.
The Court of Appeal struck out the suit marked: FHC/UM/CS/26/2022 which Edede filed before the Umuahia court.
While determining the appeal on the merit, the appellate court however held that the provision is unconstitutional because it violates violates Section 42 (1)(a) of the Constitution and denied a class of Nigerian citizens their right to participate in election.
The judgment was on the appeal marked: CA/OW/87/2022 filed by the PDP.