A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to electronically transmit Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly election results in accordance with its regulations and guidelines.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu in a judgment on Friday, also ordered the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System to upload a scanned copy of the form EC8A to the INEC Result Viewing Portal immediately after the completion of all the polling unit voting in Akwa Ibom.
Egwuatu gave the judgment following a suit filed by the Labour Party and its governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom, Uduakobong Udoh, including 13 state House of Assembly candidates for the March 18 elections.
The judge further directed the commission to conspicuously paste the publication of its result posters EC60(E) at polling units after completing the EC8A result sheets in the state.
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 who are non-partisans or known supporters of any political party for the distribution of electoral materials and personnel.
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 Electoral Commission was however, not represented in court.
Delivering judgment, Justice Egwuatu said he was satisfied that the applicants had complied with the practice direction rules in the filing of their application.
He also said that he was satisfied that a cause of action had been established against INEC in the paragraphs of the applicants’ process.
The judge, therefore, ordered INEC to direct all its presiding officers to comply with Clauses 37 which mandated it’s agents to comply with and enforce the provision of Clause 37 of the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of the Saturday’s elections and Clause 38 which mandated the presiding officers of all polling units in the state to electronically transmit or transfer the result of the polling units, direct to the collation system and use the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System to upload a scanned copy of the EC8A to INEC Result Viewing Portal immediately after the completion of all the polling units voting and result procedures.
He held that the commission had the legal duty to act in accordance with the law.