A Federal High Court in Abuja Tuesday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to stop the collation and announcement of the result of the governorship and House of assembly elections in Rivers State held on March 9, 2019.
The Commission had moved to resume the collation of the result that had been previously suspended after it was alleged that the AAC Candidate was leading in the results so far declared at the various collations centers by the INEC returning officers.
There was a disruption of the collation process at some collation centers which led to the suspension of results for the elections. The commission had announced the resumption of the result collation process after considering a report from its fact-finding – committee put in place to ascertain remote causes of violence that led to the suspension of the process.
However, Justice Iyang Ewa, ordered the Commission to halt its proceedings based on an ex-parte application filed by AAC Candidates.
The applicant prayed the court for an order of Interim Injunction restraining INEC from resuming, collating or announcing the result of the suspended elections in Rivers State, in respect of the election to the office of Governor and the Houses of Assembly, Inyang Ewa ordered INEC to appear before the court on Friday for hearing of the suit filed against it by the AAC and its candidate in the election. Inyang affirmed that the court will give its final order after it concludes the suits brought before it by the plaintiffs.
Although INEC represented, by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ransome uwa, approached the court with a motion challenging its jurisdiction.
But the Counsel to the plaintiffs, Mohammed Abali, however, objected to the application of INEC, informing the Court that the order issued on Monday asking the electoral body to show cause why the requests of the plaintiffs should not be granted had not been obeyed.
The judge, however, ordered the Electoral Umpire to halt the proceedings till the Court gives the final order.