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Court Dismisses Labour Party’s Suit, Rules That “Only INEC Can Determine Mode Of Collating, Transmitting Election Results”

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has ruled that it is only the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that is empowered by law to determine the mode of collating and transmitting election results.

Justice Emeka Nwite, in a judgment, also held 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.

Before dismissing the suit, Justice Nwite held that the collating and transferring election results manually in the 2023 general elections is in line with the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The judgment was on a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1454/2022 filed by the Labour Party (LP), with INEC as the only defendant.

LP had prayed the court to declare that INEC has no power to choose manual method other than the electronic method provided for by the relevant provisions the Electoral Act, 2022.

The Labour Party urged the court to issue an order directing INEC to comply with the Electoral Act, 2022 on electronic transmission of result in the forthcoming general election.

The judge said: “From the argument of the learned plaintiff’s counsel, I am of the humble opinion that the bone of contention or the sections that seeks for interpretation are actually sections 50(2) 60(5) and 62(2) of the Electoral Act, 2922.

“Section 47(2) as cited by the learned counsel to the plaintiff only deals with accreditation of voters using a Smart Card Reader, but not collation or transmission of result as postulated by the learned counsel,” the judge held.

Justice Nwite said that Section 60(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.

He noted that 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.

“The said Section 62(2) has mandated that such register of election results shall be kept in an electronic format by the commission at its national headquarters.

“Now a close reading of Section 50(2) of the Act has provided for voting and and transmission of result to be done in accordance wit the procedure to be determined by the commission.

“This is to say that the commission is at liberty to prescribe or choose the manner in which election results shall be transmitted.

“In same ambit, Section 60(5) empowered the Polling Unit Presiding Officer to transfer the election results, including the total number of accredited voters and results of the ballot in a manner to be prescribed by the commission.

“This is also to say the commission is again at liberty to prescribe to the Polling Units’ Presiding Officer the manner in which to collate and transfer the election results as well as the accredited number of voters in an election under the Act.”

“In view of the foregoing, can the act of the defendant (INEC) in collating and transferring election results manually in the forthcoming 2023 general elections be said to be contrary to the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022?

“The answer can only be in the negative as there is no where in the above cited sections where the commission or any of its Agents is mandated to only use an electronic means in collating or transferring of election result.

“If any, the commission is only mandated to collate and transfer election results and number of accredited voters in a way or manner deemed fit by it.

“In view of the above, I am finding that, by the provisions of Sections 50(2) and 60(5) of the Electoral Act, 2022 the correct interpretation of the said statutes is that the defendant (INEC) is at liberty to prescribe the manner in which election results could be transmitted and I so hold.

“Consequently this matter is hereby dismissed,” Justice Nwite said.

INEC declared Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 presidential election, after he defeated Atiku Abubakar of the PDP and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.

READ ALSO: Peter Obi Heads To Court With Lawyers over INEC’s Refusal To Allow The Labour Party Inspect BVAS Machine and Other Materials used for the Presidential Election As Ordered By the Court

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President Tinubu Scraps, Merges And Relocates Some Government Agencies From 263 To 161 Agencies

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President Bola Tinubu has ordered the full implementation of the Oronsaye report.⁣

Earlier, ⁣It announced the merging, subsuming, scraping and relocation of several agencies of government. ⁣⁣

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, revealed this to State House Correspondents after Monday’s Federal Executive Council meeting at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja. 

He said;

“So in a very bold move today, this administration, under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, consistent again with his courage to take very far-reaching decisions in the interest of Nigeria, has taken a decision to implement the so-called Oronsaye Report.⁣⁣

“Now, what that means is that a number of agencies, commissions, and some departments have actually been scrapped.

Some have been modified, and marked while others have been subsumed. Others, of course, have also been moved from some ministries to others where the government feels they will operate better,” said Idris. ⁣

Consequently, the President constituted a committee to implement the mergers, scrapping and relocations within 12 weeks, said Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Policy Coordination, Mrs Hadiza Bala-Usman. ⁣⁣Submitted in 2012, the Oronsaye report on public sector reforms revealed that there are 541 — statutory and non-statutory —Federal Government parastatals, commissions, and agencies.⁣⁣

A year earlier, the then President Goodluck Jonathan had set up the Presidential Committee on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies, under the leadership of former Head of Civil Service, Stephen Oronsaye.⁣

The 800-page report recommended that 263 of the statutory agencies be slashed to 161; 38 agencies be scrapped; 52 be merged and 14 be reverted to departments in various ministries.⁣⁣

The report also recommends that the law establishing the National Salaries and Wages Commission be repealed and its functions taken over by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Responsibility Commission.⁣⁣

It advised the FG to merge the nation’s top three anti-corruption agencies—the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission and the Code of Conduct Bureau.⁣⁣

An earlier analysis revealed that the Nigerian Government could save over N241bn if the report is implemented.

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“We Must Endure To Reach Good Side Of Nigeria’s Future” — President Tinubu’s Son Says

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Seyi, The son of President Bola Tinubu, has urged Nigerians to endure the current hardship in the country, adding that the decisions taken by the president should have been made years ago

He also expressed optimism that, while the difficulties exist presently, the country’s future is bright.

Tinubu made this known in a post on Instagram on Monday.

He wrote;
“There is no joy in seeing the people of this nation shoulder burdens that should have been shed years ago.

“I wish today’s difficulties did not exist. But we must endure if we are to reach the good side of our future.”

However, Some Youths already began protesting today in Ibadan regarding the country’s current situation of hardship.

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Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso Exit From ECOWAS Due To Insecurities

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The military regimes in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger have announced their immediate withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States.

The ECOWAS Commission, however, said the community is ready for a “negotiated solution” with the three countries
But the Presidency in its immediate reaction yesterday, said the three countries were technically not members of ECOWAS, since they were on suspension.

The leaders of the three Sahel nations on Sunday issued a statement saying it was a “sovereign decision” to leave the ECOWAS “without delay”

Since struggling with jihadist violence and poverty, the regimes have had issues with ECOWAS not aiding them and tense ties with ECOWAS since coups took place in Niger last July, Burkina Faso in 2022 and Mali in 2020.

All three were suspended from ECOWAS, with Niger and Mali facing heavy sanctions.

They have hardened their positions in recent months and joined forces in an “Alliance of Sahel States”.

Additional, According to them, The ECOWAS has proven to be very corrupt and a puppet of the western world, they are very one sided in their judgement.

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