Labour Party vs INEC: Court gives verdict on uploading of results from polling units to IReV

  • INEC has been ordered to upload the results of the March 11, 2023 governorship and State House of Assembly elections in Lagos state from the polling units to the IReV
  • The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos gave the order on Wednesday, March 8, while ruling on a suit filed by the Labour Party and its guber candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour
  • INEC had challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter but the presiding judge, Peter Lifu, disagreed with the electoral body

Lagos, Nigeria – The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to electronically upload the results of the March 11 governorship and State House of Assembly elections in Lagos state from the polling units to the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV).

Justice Peter Lifu granted the order while delivering judgment in a suit filed by the Labour Party, its governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, and 40 others, Channels TV reported.

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INEC/BVAS/IREV/March 11 Governorship Election
The Labour Party has secured a court order compelling INEC to upload the results of the March 11 governorship elections in Lagos to IREV.
Source: Getty Images

The plaintiffs had sought an order of Mandamus to compel INEC to obey the Electoral Act and its guidelines for the conduct of the elections.

Through their lawyer, Abbas Ibrahim, they told the court that some Presiding Officers complained of wrong passwords as the reason for not being able to upload their BVAS information during the February 25 presidential poll. Some also complained the BVAS gave an “error” sign anytime they tried to upload.

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They accused INEC of colluding with the APC in Lagos state to steal the mandate of the people and to deprive them of their rightful victory at their various wards.

The applicants further argued that if the court does not grant the leave, the same vote manipulations would occur on the 11th of March 2023, during the governorship and House of Assemblies election in Lagos state.

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INEC says cour lacks jurisdiction, judge disagrees

In its defence, INEC through its counsel, Jacinta Kelechi-Ukaonu, challenged the jurisdiction of the Court to hear the matter, stating that the plaintiffs had failed to disclose any cause of action to warrant the exercise of the court’s discretion in their favour.

The commission also argued that the suit is premature and speculative and that it will serve the interest of justice to strike out and or dismiss the action.

The counsel submitted that INEC had explained to Nigerians the issues that caused the glitches experienced on February 25 and that it had reassured all stakeholders that it is working hard to fix them.

The Commission also stated that it is a law-abiding organisation doing its best to fulfil all its obligations under the law.

Court grants order compelling INEC to upload results to IREV

Contrary to INEC’s argument, the judge held that the court has the jurisdiction to entertain the suit because it was commenced in accordance with the provisions of the law.

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Justice Lifu held that the subject matter of the suit is not a pre-election issue because the reliefs sought by the applicants deal with the preparation of the elections and not the conduct of the elections.

He noted that all the applicants were trying to do is to compel the electoral body to comply with the Constitution, its regulations, and guidelines which it failed to do during the presidential and National Assembly elections held on February 25, 2023.

The court, therefore, granted the applicants’ order of mandamus, directing and compelling INEC to comply with and enforce the provision of clause 37 of its Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022, The Nation also reported. gathers that the clause mandates the Presiding Officer of all Polling Units to paste the Publication of Result Poster EC60(E) at the Polling Units conspicuously after completing the EC8A result sheet.

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The judge also granted an order of mandamus directing and compelling INEC to comply with and enforce the provision of clause 38 of the same document.

Clause 38 mandates the presiding officer of all polling units to transmit or transfer the result of the polling units electronically, direct to the collation system and use the BVAS to upload a scanned copy of the EC8A to INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) immediately after the completion of all the polling units voting and results procedures.

The court also granted an order directing and compelling 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 governorship and House of Assembly election in Lagos State on 11 March 2023 by engaging the services of independent, competent, and reliable logistic companies who are non-partisans.

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In another report, INEC has reportedly reached a decision to postpone the March 11 Governorship and State Assembly elections to March 18, 2023.

A top INEC official in Rivers State who craved anonymity confirmed the development on Wednesday evening, March 8.

The electoral umpire, the source added, will soon release an official statement about the postponement.


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