By Andy Chukwu
A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to halt the collation and announcement of the result of the March 9 election in Rivers State.
Justice Iyang Ewa ordered the commission to halt its scheduled resumption of the announcement of the results while ruling in a suit filed by the African Action Congress (AAC).
The applicant prayed the court for an order of interim injunction restraining INEC from resuming, collating or announcing the results of the suspended elections in Rivers.
Ewa ordered INEC to appear before the court on Friday for the hearing of the suit filed against it by AAC. He ordered the electoral umpire to halt the proceedings till the court gives the final order. He also affirmed that the court would give its final order after it concludes the suits brought before it by the plaintiffs.
INEC, represented by Ransome Uwa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), approached the court with a motion challenging its jurisdiction.
The commission had suspended all electoral processes in Rivers State following widespread violence. However, last week, it announced that results of the elections in 17 local government areas of the state were intact and that it would make public its decision on the election by Wednesday.