Justice Anyadike’s Judgment On Electoral Act 84(12), An Aberration Taken Too Far, Adeyanju Insists

Concerned Nigerians Forum Convener Deji Adeyanju has described the judgement given by Hon. Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High, Umuahia Division, as an aberration take too far.

Prince Adeyanju, who recently obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) (First Class Honours) degree from the prestigious Baze University Law Faculty, as a second degree, expressed this in the following statement personally signed by him.

“Our attention has been drawn to a judgment reportedly delivered by the Hon. Justice Evelyn Anyadike, of the Federal High Court, sitting in Umuahia, wherein the Honourable Judge allegedly struck down section 84(12) of the Electoral Act and further “directed the Attorney General of the Federation to delete the said section from the Electoral Act”.

“While we recognise the fact that a court of law has the power to strike down any provision of a statute, our initial reaction to the consequential directive allegedly issued by the Court is one of shock and total disbelief. We do not believe that any Court of law will direct the Attorney General to delete the provision of a statute that has already been passed into law. Even if the said provision is struck down, the implication is that it will no longer be relied upon as a valid law. But it cannot be deleted. Even the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has no power to delete the provision of a statute. We believe the Honourable Justice Anyadike should ordinarily be conversant with this principle of law. Even an undergraduate law student knows that the executive do not make laws!

“Although we were initially minded to give the Hon. Justice Anyadike the benefit of the doubt, the subsequent statement issued by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, confirming his intention to obey the court judgment and delete section 84(12) of the Electoral Act has cleared our doubt. We are convinced that there is more than meet the eyes with this judgment. The speed at which the suit was filed, processes exchanged and judgment delivered, calls for immediate investigation. In the event that there is evidence of collusion in this judgment, all the parties should be immediately sanctioned. In Oni v Fawehinmi, (2013) LPELR-20671 (SC), the apex Court held thus;

““The Court is bound by the Doctrine of Separation of Powers under which the business of lawmaking is in the exclusive domain of the Legislature made up of the Upper and Lower Chambers of the National Assembly.“

“As noted in Oni’s case and a plethora of other cases, the power to make laws cannot be donated to the executive by judicial fiat! We are totally gobsmacked at the Hon. Justice Anyadike’s judgment, especially with the consequential orders. It is a sad day for the judiciary in Nigeria. Such a pronouncement deserves condemnation from well-meaning Nigerians and a sanction from the National Judicial Council!. We, therefore, call on the National Judicial Council to immediately open an investigation into this issue.

“As for the Attorney General of the Federation, we must remind him that as the chief law officer of the federation, he has a duty to protect the constitution and not turn it upside down. He must resist all attempt to promote personal interest at the expense of the rule of law.”