A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has reportedly ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop the collation and announcement of the result of the governorship and state House of Assembly elections in Rivers state held on Saturday, March 9.
According to Sahara Reporters, Justice Iyang Ewa ordered the commission to halt its scheduled resumption of the announcement of the result, based on an ex parte application filed by the candidates of the African Action Congress (AAC).
Legit.ng gathered that the applicants 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 reportedly ordered INEC to appear before the court on Friday, March 22, for the hearing of the suit filed against it by AAC and its candidates in the election.
The justice also allegedly affirmed that the court would give its final order after it concludes the suits brought before it by the plaintiffs.
While, INEC, represented by Ransome Uwa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), challenged the jurisdiction of the court, Mohammed Abali, counsel to the plaintiffs, objected to INEC’s application, informing the court that the order issued on Monday, March 18, asking the electoral body to show cause why the requests of the plaintiffs should not be granted had not been obeyed.
The judge subsequently ordered INEC to halt the electoral process in Rivers till the court gives the final order.
Recall that the electoral body had said it will resume the collation of the results of the elections in Rivers few days after the electoral process in the state was suspended.
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 concluded that it would issue detailed timelines and activities for the completion of the election on Wednesday, March 20.