Six states – Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Sokoto – have sued the Federal Government before the Supreme Court over the conduct, collation and announcement of the February 25, 2023, presidential and National Assembly elections.
The states want the Supreme Court to declare that the pronouncement of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, as the winner of the February 25 presidential election is void.
They argued that the entire results of the presidential election announced by the Chairman of INEC at the National Collation Centre, Abuja, is in flagrant violation of the provisions of the Electoral Act.
According to them, they want a declaration that the non-uploading of the results of each of the 176,974 polling units nationwide, in respect of the presidential election and National Assembly Elections were not in accordance with the provisions of the electoral act.
The INEC had on Wednesday declared Tinubu as winner of the presidential election and subsequently issued him certificate of return.
However, the plaintiffs in the originating summons marked: SC/CV/354/2023 are specifically asking for an order of the apex court “directing a holistic review of all results so far announced by the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which were carried out other than through the manner prescribed by the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022; and the INEC Manual for Election Officials.
The suit filed by the Attorneys-General of Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Sokoto states has the Attorney-General of the Federation as sole respondent and was brought pursuant to Sections 6 (6) (a), 14 (2) (b), 153 (1) (F) and 232 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended); 2. Sections 25 (1), (2) and 3; Sections 60 And 66 Of The Electoral Act, 2022.
According to the suit filed on February 28, by their lawyers, Prof Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), the agents and officials of the Federal Government and INEC, failed to transmit the collated result as prescribed by the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022; the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections 2022; and the INEC Manual for Election Officials requiring transmission of the results by the use of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in flagrant breach of the relevant provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022; the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022; and the INEC Manual for Election Officials, 2023.
It was their submission that the “Non-compliance with the due process of law has led to a widespread agitation, violent protests, displeasure, and disapproval from a wide spectrum of the Nigerian populace, including international observers, political parties, well-meaning Nigerians and former Head of States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
Among the issues raised for determination by the apex court were: Whether having regard to the provisions of Sections 25; 47(2); 60 (1), (2), (4) & (5); 62; 64(4)(a) & (b); 70; and 148 of the Electoral Act, 2022, governing the 2023 nationwide general elections, particularly paragraphs 38 of the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of Elections, 2022; and paragraphs 2.8.4; 2.9.0; and 2.9.1 of the INEC Manual for Election Officials, 2023 thereof, the electronic transmission of votes collated at polling units and the use of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) in the transmission of collated result is made mandatory.