JUST IN: Court Of Appeal Dismisses Labour Party Petition against INEC | #NwokeukwuMascot
Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal has held that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) can amend or vary its regulations or guidelines. The appellate court made the declaration while setting aside the judgment of a Federal High Court, which ordered INEC to directly and electronically upload the election results of the Governorship and State of Assembly elections from the polling units to the IREV.
The appellate court presided over by Justice Abubakar Umar also described the suit, filed by the Labour Party, its governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and 41 Others, as an abuse of the court process. The court, in the judgment endorsed by the two other members of the panel of justice, Justice Olukayode Bada and Justice Onyekachi Otisi, held that the power to make a regulation or guideline necessarily entails the authority to amend or vary it.
Justice Umar stated, “It is my considered view that the power to make a regulation or guideline necessarily entails the power to amend or vary it,” especially if it deems it necessary or exigencies warrant such. “With due respect to the learned judge, an order of mandamus cannot be granted to fetter a discretion”, he held. Justice Peter Lifu of the lower court had on March 8, 2023 granted an order of mandamus to compel INEC to obey the Electoral Act and its guidelines for the conduct of the elections.