A Federal High Court in Lagos has granted permission to Labour Party and 41 others to apply for an order of mandamus to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to directly and electronically upload results of the March 11 governorship and State House of Assembly elections in Lagos State from the polling units to the IReV portal.
The Justice Lifu High court granted the leave after listening to an application to that effect in suit no: FHC/L/CS/370/2023 filed by the Labour Party, its governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, and 40 others.
Justice Lifu held in his ruling that, “Leave is at this moment granted to the applicant to apply for an order of mandamus compelling the defendant and all its agents and their privies or any persons acting under their directions to comply with and enforce the provision of clause 38 of the regulations and guidelines for the conduct of the election 22, for the conduct of the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Lagos State on March 11, 2023.
The applicants are asking the court for an order mandating 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 Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) to upload a scanned copy of the EC8A to INEC result viewing (IReV) portal immediately after the completion of all the polling units-voting and results procedures.
They are also seeking an order restraining INEC from engaging the services of individuals or companies who are members of any political party in the distribution of electoral materials.
The court granted the applicant’s request to abridge the time INEC may respond to its originating summons and adjourned the matter till March 7 for hearing.
The applicants filed the suit in response to the controversies surrounding the conduct of last week’s presidential and National Assembly elections, following INEC’s failure to electronically transmit the actual results on its portal after votes were counted at various polling units.
They also had, before the presidential and National Assembly elections, secured orders of the court to prevent INEC from engaging persons who are partisans from distributing election materials.