By Oluwatope Lawanson
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Lagos State have applied for leave to appeal the judgment of a Federal High Court directing INEC to electronically transmit Saturday’s election results.
Gubernatorial and House of Assembly Elections are to hold on Saturday (March 18).
Justice Peter Lifu delivered the judgment on March 8 in a suit filed by the Labour Party (LP) and its Governorship Candidate, Mr Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.
Lifu also dismissed an application by SDP to be joined in the suit as an interested party.
On its part, the APC is seeking the leave of the Court to appeal the judgment as an interested party.
The appellants – SDP and its three chieftains: Messrs Olufemi Olaniyi, Christopher Janet and Olatunji Ganiyu – are asking the Court of Appeal to set aside the March 8 judgment of the Federal High Court, Lagos, in suit marked FHC/L/CS/470/ 2023.
They also want the appellate court to declare that the lower court’s failure to hear and determine a preliminary objection they filed along with the joinder application was wrong.
They also want the Court of Appeal to declare that the originating summons in the suit for lacking merit.
Respondents in the suit are LP, Rhodes-Vivour and 18 others.
On its part, the APC said it would want to be joined in the appeal as an interested party.
It urged the Court of Appeal to take judicial notice of a judgment of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja in which LP was a respondent.
The party argued that, based on the judgment in the Suit No: FHC/AB/ABJ/CS/1454/2022 between LP and INEC, the electoral commission was at liberty to prescribe the manner in which election results could or ought to be transmitted by virtue of Sections 50(2) and 70(5) of the Electoral Act of 2022.
The APC and SDP are both seeking a court order to stay execution of the March 8 judgment by Justice Lifu pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.