LAGOS, Nigeria – A lawsuit initiated by the Labour Party challenging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been dismissed by the Court of Appeal, Lagos division. The court overruled a previous Federal High Court mandate that required INEC to electronically transmit results from governorship and state assembly elections directly to the Results Viewing Portal (IReV).
The presiding three-man panel, which included Justice Abubakar Umar, Justice Olukayode Bada and Justice Onyekachi Otisi, ruled that existing legislation grants INEC extensive discretionary authority to decide how it transmits or transfers election results. The verdict, delivered on July 19 and acquired by The Guardian on August 7, 2023, branded the Labour Party’s lower court lawsuit an abuse of court process.
The court determined that Section 50(2) and Section 60(5) of the relevant law grant INEC expansive discretionary powers to choose how it transfers or transmits election results, establishing that electronic transmission is not mandatory but at the discretion of the electoral body.
The Court of Appeal observed that the Labour Party, its gubernatorial candidate and all other respondents did not present any brief to dispute the verdict in favor of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) despite being served notice, as reported by The Nation.
The appellate court found the appeal meritorious and thereby concluded the matter in favor of the APC. In other news, Prophet Chibuzo Nkemakolam, founder of the Throne of Power Ministry, stated that Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, stands no chance of winning the court case against President Bola Tinubu, barring a “strong supernatural intervention.”
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, addressing media stakeholders in Lagos on August 2, reaffirmed the electoral body’s transparency with regard to the 2023 elections. Despite the challenges, Yakubu noted that the elections yielded several positive outcomes.