Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has stopped the Independent National Electoral Commission from engaging the services of the chairman of the Lagos State Parks Management Committee, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, to distribute election materials in the state pending the hearing and determination of a suit filed by the Labour Party and five others.
The court granted “an order of interlocutory injunction filed by the Labour Party and five others restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (defendant/respondent), whether by itself or by its officers, affiliates, servants, privies or agents or any person acting or purporting to act for and on behalf howsoever from taking any steps or further steps whatsoever in furtherance of the engagement or appointment or consummating the appointment of Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo-led Lagos State Parks Management Committee or any of its commercial bus drivers to distribute 2023 election materials and personnel in Lagos State pending the hearing and determination the substantive suit.”
The PUNCH reported that INEC in Lagos State had reacted to a backlash following a letter written by MC Oluomo asking the electoral umpire to contract the distribution of materials to him, saying it (INEC) was engaging parks managers in the state and not MC Oluomo.
The Residential Electoral Commissioner for Lagos State, Olusegun Agbaje, had said, ”
“We are not dealing with MC Oluomo,” Agbaje had said, adding that “we are dealing with park managers. They are individual persons that have vehicles that we are going to use for the elections.
“The law has already banned the NURTW from operating in the state so we cannot violate the law by patronising them.
“It will be we working against the law if we have to be working with the banned associations. So it cannot work.”
HURIWA, Labour Party kick
Reactions had immediately trailed the disclosure by the Lagos State REC.
The PUNCH reported that the Human Rights Writers’ Association had rejected the plan by INEC to engage MC Oluomo-led parks management for election logistics, stressing that MC Oluomo was a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress.
“The plan of INEC to use the organisation led by a known APC member who has been seen in many rallies of Bola Tinubu in Lagos, Ogun, Kwara, Osun, Ekiti and other places is condemnable and anti-democratic. HURIWA rejects this in all entirety.
“Apparently, the Lagos Resident Electoral commissioner is working for Tinubu and APC. INEC needs to immediately redeploy him for electoral integrity if any at all will be achieved in the next election.
Stressing that INEC could use other hands as REC, Osuntokun added, “We also want an immediate redeployment and blacklisting from any election duty, anywhere, of the Lagos REC, Olusegun Agbaje, whose recent actions have raised doubts about his suitability as an election supervisor.
“There are far too many capable Nigerians of good professional and ethical standard available within INEC, to conduct an acceptable election, than to run the risk of any unpopular pre-determined outcome, which his conduct, strongly suggests.”