COURTROOM NEWS 28/05/2022
Electoral Act 2022: Supreme Court Hears NBA As Amicus Curiae In Suit Challenging Controversial Section 84(12)
The Supreme Court has listened to arguments from the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) as Amicus Curiae in the suit questioning the constitutionality of the controversial Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act.
In a statement sighted by The Lawyer and signed by the NBA President, Olumide Akpata, The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) appeared before the Supreme Court Thursday, 26th May, 2022 and proffered arguments in defence of the provisions of Section 84(12) of the newly enacted Electoral Act 2022.
The NBA represented by its Public Interest Litigation Committee Chaired by Dr. Charles Mekwunye, SAN had earlier applied to the Court to be joined as a party to the action given its nature and consequent effect on the general Nigerian public, or alternatively to be heard as Amicus Curiae in the suit.
Akpata noted that: “In view of the NBA’s responsibility for the protection and defence of the Rule of Law and in consideration of the need to ensure that the controversy surrounding that Section of the Electoral Act is laid to rest once and for all, I directed the NBA Public Interest Litigation Committee (NBA-PILC) to prepare and file an Application on behalf of NBA to join the Supreme Court action as an interested party or in the alternative that the NBA be heard as Amicus Curiae.
On 24th May 2022, the NBA’s application was filed and served on all the parties in the suit. In view of the urgency of the matter, the NBA-PILC also filed a response to the substantive suit before the Supreme Court and prayed the Court, in the event of a favourable consideration of the application, to deem NBA’s response as properly filed.”
He stated that after hearing all parties including the NBA as Amicus Curiae, the Supreme Court has reserved date for judgement in the case which will communicated to parties. Further noting that whichever way the judgement goes, the NBA will be gratified that it played its role as an advocate for the Nigerian populace.
“Whichever way the Supreme Court decides, we are gratified that the NBA has fulfilled its obligations to Nigerians by rising to the defence of the Rule of Law and ensuring that the voice of the ordinary Nigerian was heard before the Court made a pronouncement on such an important statutory provision.”