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Obi in Court: Only the INEC has the Right to Collate Verified Results 

‍In a sitting at the federal high Court in Abuja, the judgment of Justice Emeka Nwite, between Peter Obi and the INEC over result collation has sparked sentiments. Court permits only the INEC to collate verified results, has raised a lot of questions regarding the transmission of the results electronically. Obi in Court: Only the INEC has the Right to Collate Verified Results

2023 Elections: Peter Obi Humbled as Court Order Permits Only the INEC to Collate Verified Results

Presided by Justice Emeka Nwite, at the Federal High court the judgment held that it is only in independent national Electoral commission INEC has the power by the electoral act on the constitution to determine the mode of collecting and transmitting election results.

Obi in Court: Only the INEC has the Right to Collate Verified Results
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

The ruling was as a result of a suit filed by the Labour Party legal team against the INEC, challenging manual transmission of election results. The party as the plaintiff argued that the Independent national electoral commission does not have the power to choose the manual method of collection and transmission of election results, they pointed that the inec should comply with the provisions of the electoral act that was inducted in 2022. The act in quote, vividly clarified that election results be transmitted electronically.

Delivering judgement, the court dismissed the suit stating that the monarch collection and transmission of election results in the just-concluded Presidential elections is in line with the relevant provisions of the electoral act of 2022. The judgement upheld that the Independent national Electoral commission inec has the ultimate power to delegate presiding officers on the mode of collating results from the polling units. In extension also, the presiding officers of inec have the ultimate flexibility from the inec so how the total number of accredited voters and election results of the ballot box.

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The ruling has sparked mixed reactions from speculators. While it may initially be celebrated as a means of ensuring a free and fair elections, it is a setback for electoral reform in our democratic process and a missed opportunity to improve the electoral process.

Obi in Court: Only the INEC has the Right to Collate Verified Results

Those who support the ruling undoubtedly are hoping that it will prevent potential tampering of the electoral process by external actors and ensure that the results of elections are accurate and reliable. They argue that electronic transmission of results, while it is useful, is not a powerful means of containing manipulation of results and can be vulnerable to hacking and other forms of interference.

However, it is argued that it is a missed opportunity to improve the electoral process and ensure greater transparency and accountability. The Labour party argued in the court that the manual method of collating and transmitting results can be prone to errors and manipulation, and that the electronic method is more secure and reliable and safer from being tampered with.  Court Order Permits Only the INEC to Collate Verified Results should not be an enablement for the INEC to deviate from doing what was signed in the electoral laws of the country.

Despite the sentiments surrounding the ruling, there is no doubt that it has a great impact in the upcoming general elections in 2023. The decision to use the manual method of collating and transmitting results means that INEC will have to put in place well planned strategies to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the results. This will help greatly to terminate any potential manipulation of the process.

2023 Elections: Peter Obi Humbled as Court Order Permits Only the INEC to Collate Verified Results 

Finally, the ruling is an indication and call for the Nigerian government to put in more effort to continue towards electoral reform in Nigeria. While the country has made good progress in recent years, there is still much work to be done to make sure the electoral process is transparent, free, fair, and accountable to the Nigerian people. Is it worth that court permits only the INEC to collate verified results.

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