The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has scrapped plans to hire the Lagos State Parks Management Committee, led by Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, to transport electoral materials in the upcoming elections.
This is due to the fact that a federal high court in Lagos ruled on Monday that the committee should not be involved in the distribution of election materials and ad hoc staff in the state.
Chukwujekwu Aneke, the presiding judge, issued the order in a suit filed by the Labour Party.
The INEC’s decision to collaborate with the parks management committee to distribute election materials has sparked debate.
Lagos State Governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had set up the parks committee after banning the operations of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).
Olusegun Agbaje, INEC resident electoral commissioner (REC) in Lagos, said he had no option other than to work with the parks committee to distribute election materials in the state – a decision which has been greeted with criticism as regards the credibility of the polls since MC Oluomo is a supporter of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But Festus Okoye, INEC national commissioner for information, said the logistics contract for the distribution of election materials is with drivers and not transport unions.
The Labour Party and five other plaintiffs had gone to court to seek an interlocutory injunction restraining INEC, “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”.
In the ruling, the judge restrained INEC from taking any steps or further steps whatsoever in furtherance of the engagement of the Lagos State Parks Management Committee led by MC Oluomo pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.