The attempt by Nigeria’s Legislative arm to reorder the sequence of the 2019 elections has been stopped by an order of the Federal High Court Abuja on Wednesday, directing the National Assembly to stop taking any further actions on the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018.
The restraining order, which was issued by Justice Ahmed Mohammed will last till the next hearing date, March 17 in order to preserve the status-quo.
This followed an oral application by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), lawyer to the plaintiff, Accord Party.
Recall that the Accord Party had gone to court, challenging the constitutionality of the ongoing amendment of the Electoral Act.
The oral application by Olanipekun for a “preservative order” was opposed by the counsel representing the National Assembly, Chinelo Ogbozor, during Wednesday’s proceedings.
But the judge was of the view that the National Assembly was not likely to suffer any prejudice if it was restrained from going ahead with the amendment processes before the next hearing date.
Conversely, if no restraining order was issued and the National Assembly went ahead to exercise its powers under Section 58(5) of the Constitution by overriding the President’s withholding of assent, the essence of the whole suit would have been defeated, the judge said.
He therefore ordered all parties to maintain the “status quo.”