April 17, 2024 2:08 pm
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Appeal Court Revokes Order on Electronic Transmission of Lagos Gov Poll Results

The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has overturned a Federal High Court judgement which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to directly upload the election results of the Governorship and State of Assembly elections from polling units to the INEC Results Viewing Portal (IReV).

The Court of Appeal’s verdict was delivered on Wednesday, July 19, by Justice Abubakar Umar. Justices Olukayode Bada and Onyekachi Otisi also agreed with the lead judgement.

This decision came after the Labour Party, its governorship candidate Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, and 41 others obtained an order of mandamus on March 8, 2023, to compel INEC to comply with the Electoral Act and its guidelines for the elections. Justice Peter Lifu of the Federal High Court, Lagos, delivered the initial judgement.

According to Justice Lifu’s ruling, INEC was required to ensure that election results were pasted conspicuously at polling units and electronically transmitted to the collation center and INEC’s IReV immediately after voting and result procedures were completed. The judgement also directed INEC to engage non-partisan, independent logistics companies for the transportation of electoral materials.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) were dissatisfied with the decision and sought appeal. The APC argued that the judgement in Lagos contradicted a previous judgement in Abuja, and the SDP filed an application for joinder.

The Court of Appeal considered whether Justice Lifu was right to grant the order of mandamus against all 43 respondents in the suit. The court found that INEC has discretionary powers to determine the manner it carries out its tasks, including the transmission of election results. It concluded that the lower court’s judgement was an abuse of the court process.

As a result of the Court of Appeal’s ruling, the judgement of P.O. Lifu was set aside, and the suit was dismissed. Each party will bear its respective costs.

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