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Prof Haruna, Others Ask Court To Compel IGP To Prosecute INEC Chairman, Others For Criminal Violations Of Electoral Act

Professor Haruna Dabin, Joseph Enan, Joseph Inya Agha Afeez Adeola Adeyeye, Lawrence Agi Oloko and Kuyembo Danjuma have approached a Federal High Court Abuja seeking an order of mandamus to compel the Inspector General of Police to prosecute the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu and others for ‘criminal violations of the provisions of the Electoral Act during the conduct of the 2023 Presidential and National Assembly Elections.

The matter with suit number  FHC/ABJ/CS/426/2023 has the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, its chairman Prof Yakubu, All INEC commissioners, 177,506 INEC polling officers and the Inspector-General of Police as 1-5 defendants.

Through their counsel, Logosphere Attorneys, they are asking the court to compel the Inspector-General of Police to arrest the Chairman of INEC for failing to adhere to the 2022 Electoral Act and the election guideline as issued by the commission, pursuant to the enabling Act stated above.

The plaintiffs in the suit titled ORDER 3, RULE 9 OF THE FEDERAL HIGH COURT (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2019 are asking the court to determine the following:

“Whether by the true construction and interpretation of Sections 60, 64(4) and 148 of the Electoral Act, and Clause 38 of the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of the 2023 Elections the defendants have an obligation under the law to ELECTRONICALLY transmit or transfer from the Polling Units across the country the results of the Presidential and National Assembly elections conducted on February 25, 2023 after the votes have been counted and recorded by the Polling Officers before collation at the Ward Collection Centres.

“Whether by the true construction and interpretation of Sections 60(4), 145, and 47(1) of Electoral Act 2022 and the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of the 2023 Election, particularly Clause 38, failure to transmit the results of the presidential and National Assembly elections conducted on Saturday, February 25, 2023, after the votes have been counted and written in the prescribed form is not a violation of the Electoral Act?

“Whether by the true construction and interpretation of Sections 60(4), 148, and 47(1) of the Electoral Act 2022 and the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of the 2023 Election, particularly Clause 38, the failure of the Polling Officers to transmit the results of the Presidential and National elections conducted by the defendants on Saturday, February 25, 2023 is not a crime punishable upon conviction under the Clause 38 of the Regulation and Guidelines for the Conduct of the 2023 Elections?

“Whether by the true construction and interpretation of Section 60(4), 148, and 47(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, the Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of the 2023 Elections and Section 4 of the Nigerian Police Act, 2020, the Inspector General of Police, through the relevant Police Officers, does not have an obligation to prosecute the 2nd to 4th Defendants for commission of a crime for not transmitting to the IReV portal the results of voting of the Presidential and National Assembly election held on Saturday, February 23, 2023, after the votes have been counted at the Polling Units across the country.

After the determining the questions above, the plaintiffs went further to pray the Honourable Court for the following reliefs, “A DECLARATION that by the provisions of Sections 60, 64(4), and 148 of the Electoral Act 2022 and the Regulations and Guidelines for the 2023 Elections it is mandatory for Polling Officers to electronically transmit election results from the Polling Units to INEC’s IREV portal immediately after results of votes have been counted and entered in the result sheet provided by INEC

“A DECLARATION that failure to ELECTRONICALLY transmit or transfer results of voting during the Presidential and National Assembly election on February 25, 2023 from the Polling Units to the INEC IReV portal before collation at the Ward Collection Center is a violation of the Electoral Act 2022 and Regulations made to the Act.

“A DECLARATION that failure of the Defendants to ELECTRONICALLY transmit or transfer the results of the votes of the Presidential and National Assembly election held on February 25, 2023, from the polling units to the INEC IReV portal is a crime punishable under the electoral law.

“An ORDER compelling the 5th Defendant to take necessary action under the law to prosecute the 2nd to 4th Defendants for committing a criminal offence for not ELECTRONICALLY transmit or transfer results of voting from the Polling Units to the INEC IRev portal as required by the Electoral Act and the INEC’s Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of the 2023 elections. Any other ORDER, the court may deem fit for fair and just determination of this suit in the present circumstances as the court may deem fit.

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