Thursday, April 4, 2019 4:17 pm
Justice Bello Kawu of an FCT High Court in Kubwa, on Thursday ordered the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) to declare collated results of Ajeromi- Ifelodun Federal Constituency, Lagos State which held on Feb. 23 to Rep. Rita Orji.
Kawu also ordered INEC and its agents namely, the Resident Electoral commissioner (REC), Lagos State, Mr Adeshola Adelaja and Mr Ulocha Oscar to pay N250, 000 to Orji.
In his ruling, he dismissed a notice of preliminary objection on the jurisdiction of the court saying that the court had jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
He further said the court cannot stop INEC from performing its constitutional duty but results must be declared before declaring same as inconclusive for a re-run.
It would be recalled that an Exparte application was filed on March 7, by Orji and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through her counsel, Jude Ugwuanyi.
The application had INEC, the resident Electoral Commissioner Lagos State, the All Progressive Congress (APC), Hon. Kolawole Taiwo, Mr Adeshola Adelaja and Mr Ulocha Oscar as respondents.
The respondents however contested the jurisdiction of the court saying elections were conducted in Lagos state adding that it is a post election matter.
Ugwuanyi however held that the FCT had jurisdiction because INEC operates in Abuja and is saddled with elections responsibility.
He added that the House of Representatives results for the said constituency was declared inconclusive in INEC, Abuja.
Orji through her lawyer had sought a court order restraining INEC, the REC, Lagos State, Mr Adeshola Adelaja and Mr Ulocha Oscar from going on with a planned re-run election for March 9.
She also seeked an order for the said respondents to declare the results of the National Assembly Elections for Ajeromi -Ifelodun Federal Constituency in Lagos State which held on Feb. 23, 2019.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, Ugwuanyi expressed satisfaction with the court’s ruling, saying that due process should be followed.
He also said his client had written a petition to INEC, Independent Corrupt Practices Commision ( ICPC) and Servicom for the collated results to be announced before a re-run but did not get any response, hence the suit.