A lawyer, Chyma Anthony, has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly, Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation to a federal high court in Abuja.
Anthony is seeking among other things, that the court to determine whether the decision by the National Assembly to usurp the powers of the INEC to fix the dates of election to the both Houses of Assembly and the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, does not contravene the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.
In the suit numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/222/18, the plaintiff, in a general form of originating summons, prayed the court to order the defendants to cause an appearance to be entered for them in defense of what he described as ‘moves made by the defendants that have injured and affected him.’
The plaintiff further prayed the court to determine whether by the combined effect of the provisions of Sections 76 and 132 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the National Assembly is empowered to take away from INEC, the constitutional powers bestowed on it to fix the respective dates for the National Assembly and presidential elections without amending the relevant provisions of the Constitution.
And the relief sought by the plaintiff includes that the court should issue a declaration stating that by the combined effect of the provisions of Sections 76 and 132 of the Constitution, the INEC and not the National Assembly, is the only body authorized to fix the respective dates for elections into the both houses of the National Assembly and the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and that the powers conferred on INEC by the Constitution cannot be taken away from it by the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, INEC has released the sequence of elections for the next thirty-six years.