A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to halt 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 rescheduled the collation of the results that had been previously suspended for Wednesday, after it was alleged that the African Action Congress (AAC) candidate was leading in the results so far declared at the various collations centres.
There was a disruption of the collation process at some collation centres which led to the suspension the electoral process.
However, after the report by a fact-finding committee set up to investigate electoral irregularities that characterised the poll, INEC scheduled the continuation of the process for Wednesday, March 20, 2019.
However, Justice Iyang Ewa has ordered the commission to halt its scheduled resumption of the announcement of the result, based on an ex parte application filed by the AAC candidates.
The applicant prayed the court for an order of interim injunction restraining INEC from resuming, collating or announcing the results of the suspended elections in Rivers State.
Justice Ewa ordered INEC to appear before the court on Friday for the hearing of the suit filed against it by AAC and its candidate in the election.
He also affirmed that the court would give its final order after it concludes the suits brought before it by the plaintiffs.
INEC, represented by Ransome Uwa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), approached the court with a motion challenging its jurisdiction.
Mohammed Abali, counsel to the plaintiffs, 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 ordered the electoral umpire to halt the proceedings till the court gives the final order.
Culled from SaharaReporters
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