A Federal High Court in Abuja has stated that only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has the power to determine the method of collating and transmitting election results.
The declaration was made by Justice Emeka Nwite who held that only the electoral body has the prerogative to direct how the Polling Unit Presiding Officer should transfer election results, including the total number of accredited voters and results of the ballot.
In his ruling, Nwite said that the collation and transfer of election results manually in the 2023 general elections cannot be said to be contrary to the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The judge’s verdict was in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1454/2022 and filed by the Labour Party, with INEC as the sole defendant.
The aggrieved party has requested the court to declare that the commission has no power to choose to manually collate results as against the electronic method provided for by the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The development comes amid complaints by Labour Party that the electoral body has refused to allow its members to access election materials despite the recent court ruling.
The National Chairman of the party, Julius Abure, disclosed that their lawyers and technical experts who have been approaching INEC on a daily basis have been repeatedly denied access.