An Abuja Federal High Court has declared that it is only the Independent National Electoral Commission that is empowered by law to determine the mode of collating and transmitting election results.
Justice Emeka Nwite in his judgement in a suit filed by the Labour Party, stated that it is only INEC that has the prerogative to direct how Polling Unit Presiding Officer should transfer election results, including the total number of accredited voters and results of the ballot.
The trial Judge further held that the collating and transferring election results manually in the 2023 general elections cannot be said to be contrary to the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.
The independent National Electioral Commision, INEC is the sole defendant in the suit.
The Party had prayed the court to declare that INEC has no power to opt for manual method other than the electronic method provided for by the relevant provisions the Electoral Act, 2022.
It urged the court to issue an order directing INEC to comply with the Electoral Act, 2022 on electronic transmission of result in the General election.
In the judgement delivered on January 23, 2023, Justice Nwite held that the plaintiff misconstrued the provisions of the law and proceeded to dismiss the suit.
Justice Nwite also notes that Section 60, subsection 5 of the Electoral Act, 2022 provides for the transfer of election result, including the total number of the accredited voters from the polling unit.
And Section 62 (2) of the same Act, provides for compilation, maintenance and continuous update of the register of election result as distinct database for all polling units’ results as collated in all elections conducted by the commission.