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As the 2023 general elections draws nearer, Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to accept the nominations of candidates of the Labour Party (LP) in 24 states of the Federation.
Justice Ekwo held that INEC violated Sections 31, 33 and 36 of the Electoral Act 2022 in rejecting the LP candidates.
The court ordered that the electoral body must accept the list of the candidates, either manually or through its electronic nomination portal.
Delivering judgement, Justice Ekwo held that INEC violated Sections 31, 33, and 36 of the Electoral Act 2022 in rejecting the LP candidates in the affected states on the ground of non-functional of its nomination portal.
The 24 states affected by the court order are Kwara, Plateau, Nasarawa, Lagos, Kaduna, Oyo, Benue, Bauchi, Ebonyi and Ekiti states.
The rest are Katsina, Bayelsa, Niger, Rivers, Sokoto, Akwa Ibom, Gombe, Borno, Osun, Adamawa and Cross River States, among others.
The Labour Party had last year November conducted substitution nomination for its candidates who withdrew from the 2023 general elections in the affected states.
The withdrawals were communicated to INEC by the National Chairman and National Secretary of the party along with notification of October 27 date to conduct substitution nomination primary elections.
However, at the point of uploading the fresh candidates names, INEC claimed that its nomination portal was faulty and declined to accept the candidates list manually promoting the 24 legal actions.