The judgment in the suit seeking to prevent the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from using Musliu Akinsanya, also known as MC Oluomo or his representatives, in the distribution of election materials and ad hoc staff for the forthcoming polls in Lagos State has been fixed for Friday, February 24th, by the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The decision was made by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke after listening to the applicants’ counsel, Abass Ibrahim.
The applicants in the case are the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (its governorship candidate in the state), the African Democratic Congress and its candidate Funsho Doherty, and the Boot Party and its candidate Wale Oluwo.
On February 20th, the court granted an interlocutory injunction prohibiting INEC from using the Oluomo-led park managers or any of its commercial bus drivers to distribute election materials and personnel for the 2023 polls in Lagos State. The judge ordered the applicants to serve the restraining order and other processes in the suit on INEC, the only defendant in the case.
During the resumed hearing, the applicants’ counsel informed the court that he had fully complied with the court’s orders by serving all processes and the hearing notice on INEC, but he was surprised that the respondent failed to appear in court. The counsel requested the court to allow him to move his clients’ application, which was granted.
The originating motion, which was brought pursuant to section 6 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, sections 26 and 27(1)(2) of the Electoral Act, 2022, and under the court’s inherent jurisdiction, was supported by a 27-paragraph affidavit, written address, and exhibits. The reliefs sought in the originating motion included a declaration that the appointment, partnership, or contracting of Musiliu Akinsanya and/or the Lagos State Parks Management Committee to distribute election materials and personnel in Lagos State violates the Electoral Act 2022 and is therefore null and void.
Other reliefs sought were an order setting aside any partnership, undertaking, contract, and/or MOU of any form or nature executed by MC Oluomo or the Lagos State Parks Management Committee with INEC to distribute election materials and personnel in Lagos State and an order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC and/or their privies or any persons acting under their directions from appointing MC Oluomo, the Lagos State Parks Management Committee, or any of its members and/or drivers to distribute 2023 election materials and personnel in Lagos State.
The counsel urged the court to grant the reliefs sought, and Justice Aneke adjourned the case until Friday for judgment.