Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal, on Wednesday, set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court nullifying the National Assembly’s election re-ordering provision of the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018.
In a unanimous judgment delivered, on Wednesday, the Court of Appeal held that the Federal High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit in the first place.
In her lead judgment, the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, who headed a five-man panel of the court, held that the suit was premature as a Bill could not be challenged in the law court until it became an Act.
In upholding the appeal by the National Assembly, the appellate court further held that the Accord Party which instituted the suit before the Federal High Court, in Abuja, lacked the locus standi to file the action.
Justice Bulkachuwa held that since the Bill did not affect its rights or the obligations of the party, the “general interest” available to the public did not confer the rights on it to challenge the Bill.