While the All Progressives Congress (APC) was challenging the judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to electronically upload the results of Saturday’s governorship and State House of Assembly elections, another Federal High Court in Abuja has mandated the Commission to electronically transmit results of the exercise in accordance with its regulations and guidelines.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu gave the judgment on Friday following a suit filed by the Labour Party, its governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom, Uduakobong Udoh, and 13 state house of assembly candidates for the March 18 elections.
The applicants, in the originating summons dated and filed on March 15 by their lawyer, Moses Usoh-Abia, had sued INEC as the sole defendant.
The summary of the facts of the applicants’ case is that during the conduct of the presidential election on the 25th of February 2023, INEC and its officers failed to paste election results at polling units and to upload scanned election results on the IREV through the BVAS.
In conclusion, the commission asked the court to dismiss the applicants’ suit for being incompetent, baseless, vexatious, speculative, and an abuse of the court process.
In his judgment, Justice Egwuatu granted an order of Mandamus compelling INEC, its servants, agents, privies, and any person acting under their directions to:
a. Comply with and enforce the provision of clause 37 of the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections 2022 for the conduct of the governorship and houses of assembly elections in Akwa Ibom State on the 18th of March, 2023 to wit: mandating the presiding officer of al polling units to paste the publication of result poster EC60 (E) at the polling units conspicuously after completing the EC8A result sheet.
b. Comply with and enforce the provision of clause 38 of the Regulations and Guidelines for the conduct of Elections 2022 for the conduct of governorships and houses of assembly elections in Akwa Ibom State on the 18th of March, 2023, mandating the presiding officer of all polling units to electronically transmit or transfer the results of the polling units direct to the collation system and use the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to upload a scanned copy of the
EC8A to the respondent’s (INEc’s) Result Viewing Portal (IReV) immediately after the completion of all the polling units’ voting and results procedures.
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