Court Stops INEC From Using MC Oluomo For Electoral Items Distribution

The Federal High Court in Lagos, has granted an injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from using, engaging or further dealing with the Chairman of the Lagos Parks and Garages, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo or any of his representatives in the distribution of election materials and adhoc staff for the forthcoming polls in the state.

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke granted the interim interlocutory injunction after listening to an application filed by Labour Party and two other political parties and their governorship candidates.

Apart from the Labour Party and its governorship candidate in the state, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the other political parties who filed the application are: African Democratic Congress and its candidate, Funsho Doherty and the Boot Party, and its candidate, Wale Oluwo.

Channels Television learnt that INEC who is the only defendant in the suit was absent at the proceedings even though the lawyer representing the parties, Abass Arisekola told the court that the commission was served with the court papers.

In urging the court to grant the interim order, the applicants counsel, moved the application with an affidavit of urgency, brought pursuant to section 13(3) of the Federal High Court Act, Laws Of The Federation Of Nigeria 2004; Order 26 Rules 8 and 9, Order 28 Rule 1(2) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009, and under the court’s inherent jurisdiction.

He also told the court the grounds for orders sought includes the fact that his client’s who are plaintiffs/applicants will be severely threatened by a lack of free and fair elections in Lagos State, adding that “It is in the interest of justice to restrain INEC from taking any step or further steps that may foist a fait accompli on the substantive suit”.

After listening to the counsel, Justice Aneke held that: “I have listened to the submission of counsel and also perused the motion with affidavit of urgency and the grounds for the application. I found merit in the application. The order of interlocutory injunction is hereby granted.”

After the court granted the interim order, the applicants’ counsel pleaded for an abridgement of time to hear the substantive suit, because of the fast approaching elections.

Justice Aneke granted the application for abridgement of time and adjourned the hearing of the substantive suit to February 22, while ordering that all the processes in the suit be served on INEC.

INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos, Olusegun Agbaje had earlier in February, said the electoral body will work with the Lagos State Parks Management Committee headed by MC Oluomo for the distribution of election materials and personnel across the state.

However, the camp of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar subsequently warned INEC against the use of the parks committee for the sanctity of the poll.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had set up the parks committee after suspending the operations of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos.

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