A Federal High Court in Abuja Nigeria Wednesday told the National Assembly that it lacks the power to dictate to the Independent National Electoral Commission on the order in which elections, particularly the 2019 general election, should be conducted.
The Accord Party had approached the court for an order setting aside Clause 25 of the Electoral Amendment Bill, 2018, which seeks to alter the sequence of general elections.
INEC had in January released the dates for the conduct of the 2019 general election with the presidential and National Assembly elections coming before the governorship and state assembly elections. But the legislature through the Electoral Amendment Bill is proposing to change the sequence.
Following the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the amendment bill, the plaintiff approached the court to intervene in the matter, arguing that the legislature, if not prevailed upon, could by a two-thirds majority pass the bill into law.
Delivering judgment in the suit Wednesday, Justice Ahmed Mohammed held that it was the sole responsibility of INEC to conduct, fix dates and determine the sequence of elections in the country.