Justice Akintoye Aluko of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday again refused to stop the local government elections scheduled to hold today in the state.
The judge struck out the suit on the ground that the Federal High Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
The court had on July 19 declined to grant an ex parte application filed by the party seeking to stop the election. Justice Aluko had instead directed them to put the defendants in the suit on notice to enable them file their defence.
Some political parties had taken the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) and Lagos State government before the court urging it to stop the holding of the election into the 57 local government councils and local council development areas.
They claimed that the court of Appeal reversed INEC’s decision to deregister them but despite this, LASIEC did not list their parties on the ballot.
The plaintiffs therefore invited the court to stop today’s election until their parties are listed for the elections. The attorney general and commissioner for justice in Lagos, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), however countered this submission.
He told the judge that the Federal High Court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain their claims.
In a ruling delivered yesterday, Justice Aluko upheld the submissions of the attorney general on behalf of the Lagos State government and declined jurisdiction to hear and determine the suit.
The court also transferred the suit to the State High Court pursuant to Section 22 (2) Federal High Court Act.
The court also upheld the same decision in another matter filed by the Youth Party against LASIEC. The court not only declined jurisdiction on the matter but also vacated the Interim Order of Injunction earlier granted in the matter on the 12th of July 2021.
With this latest development, the election into the 57 local government councils and local council development areas in the state will hold as scheduled today.
The parties are Alliance for Social Democrats; All Grand Alliance Party; Change Advocacy Party; Mega Party of Nigeria; Progressive People’s Alliance; Save Nigeria Congress; We The People of Nigeria; Young Democratic Party; Advanced Congress of Democrats and Mass Movement of Nigeria.
In a related development, Lagos State commissioner of police, Hakeem Odumosun, has warned against any form of violence during the elections, saying the command was fully prepared to enforce the movement restriction order in the state.
He said the command had deployed human and material resources to provide adequate security before, during and after the election.
Odumosu, while giving directives to officers, men and tactical commanders at the command’s headquarters, Ikeja yesterday, ordered that all Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission’s facilities, sensitive materials, polling units and collation centres must be adequately protected.
He also directed officers and men who have been detailed for the election duty to work with other security operatives for the election, and discharge their duties according to the Standard Operating Procedure of the Nigeria Police and extant electoral laws.