Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice Bello Kawu of an Abuja High Court has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to immediately declare the result of the February 23, 2019 National Assembly election for the Ajeromi-Ifelodun Federal Constituency of Lagos.
Justice Kawu gave the order while delivering judgment in a suit marked FCT/HC/CV/1252/19 brought before him by one Hon. Rita Orji and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The judge in addition barred INEC from conducting a re-run poll for the constituency until the results already announced at the various polling units and collated alongside the result of the Presidential poll are declared in accordance with the extant provision of section 69 and 71 of the Electoral Act 2010.
Justice Kawu held that any attempt by the electoral umpire to go ahead with the planned re-run election in the constituency without first declaring the already collated election results will over-reach the two applicants and other contestants for the House of Representatives seat for the constituency.
Respondents in the suit are, INEC, Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Lagos, All Progressives Congress (APC), Hon. Kolawole Taiwo, Mr. Adeshola Adelaja and Mr. Ulocha Nnabugwu Oscar.
The planned re-run elections are slated for seven out of 11 polling units in the area.
Orji and PDP had dragged the six respondents before the court praying for an order prohibiting them from going ahead with any re-run election in the absence of the Electoral Returning Officer for the constituency.
Their grouse was that they will be over-reached along with other contestants unless and until all the already collated results for the February 23 elections were declared by INEC in line with sections 69 and 71 of the electoral Act 2010.
Justice Kawu in an enrolment order of Court dated April 4, 2019 and signed by him and the Court registrar, Mr. Ebibrah Kingsley Okoroh dismissed the objection of INEC and three others against the motion for lacking in merit and substance.
The Judge ordered INEC to pay the two applicants a sum of N250,000 as cost of litigation.