ABUJA – The Senate on Thursday expressed reservation on the Federal High Court’s order stopping the National Assembly from taking further action on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, 2018.
This followed the adoption of a Point of Order raised by the Minority Leader, Sen. Godswill Akpabio at plenary.
Relying on Order 45, Akpabio urged the Senate to write to the Chief Justice of Nigeria to intimate him on the development and to remind him of the principles of separation of power.
The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday restrained the National Assembly from further action on the amendment of the Electoral Act pending till March 20.
The Minority Leader, while disagreeing with the court’s action, said the issue had to do with due process and separation of powers.

“I have perused the Constitution and I think I cannot see anywhere that the court has the power to stop the proceedings of the Senate.
“If this is allowed, it therefore means that in future the court can stop the National Assembly from appropriating and the country will have no budget for the year.
“Separation of power is a core of democracy, so there is need for the Chief Justice to caution legal officers on issuing such orders geared towards interfering with other arms of government,’’ Akpabio said.
Contributing, the Senate Leader, Sen. Ahmed Lawan said amending the Electoral Act does not require court’s intervention.

“Institutions should rather do things that should enhance our democracy; the issue at stake does not require court intervention because this is democracy at work.
“The court should hands off what we do in the National Assembly, it is when we have finished and we have a law that the court feels that there are issues that they can interpret,’’ Lawan said.
In his remark, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki reiterated the need for every arm of government to function in accordance with the principle of separation of power.

“The issue is clear and the principle is clear; what is important is building democracy and building our institutions.
“We will come and go but institutions will remain, so it is imperative that everybody must work towards sustaining the institutions.
“We will express our concern to the Chief Justice of Nigeria,’’ Saraki said.