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Court directs INEC to paste, upload elections results

Court directs INEC to paste, upload elections results

A Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to electronically transmit the results of the March 18 governorship and House of Assembly elections in line with regulations and guidelines.

In a ruling on Friday, Judge Obiora Egwuatu also mandated the use of the bimodal voter accreditation technology to send a scanned copy of the EC8A to the INEC result viewing portal as soon as all voting and result procedures in Akwa Ibom were complete.

After finalising the EC8A result sheets for the state, the judge further instructed the commission to prominently paste the publication of its result posters, EC60(E), at polling places.

He equally ordered INEC to enforce the observance and compliance of Section 27(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022 in the distribution of electoral materials during the conduct of the polls in the state by engaging the services of independent, competent, and reliable logistic companies for the distribution of electoral materials and personnel.

Egwuatu held that since the electoral umpire averred in its filed affidavit that it was aware of its responsibilities under the law and had not failed to carry them out, granting the prayers sought by the applicants would not do any harm to the commission but instead, energise its performance.

He gave the judgment 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.

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According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the applicants, in the originating summons marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/334/2023, dated and filed on March 15 by their lawyer, Moses Usoh-Abia, had sued INEC as the sole defendant.

The applicants, who sought seven reliefs, prayed the court for an order of mandamus compelling INEC and all its agents to comply with and enforce the provision of Clause 37 of the regulations and guidelines for the conduct of Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections in Akwa Ibom.

Among others, they also urged the court to mandate the presiding officers at all polling units to conspicuously paste the publication of result posters EC460(E) at the polling units after completing the EC8A result sheets.

The applicants’ lawyer said the order was necessary because the commission, in the February 25 presidential and National Assembly polls, failed to transmit the results in the state and across the country.

He argued that INEC created the regulations and guidelines pursuant to Sections 148 and 60(5) of the Electoral Act, 2022 to guide the conduct of elections and collating of election results among others.

Court directs INEC to paste, upload elections results

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