The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has denied that a recent judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja has invalidated the 2011 General Election, including the election of President Goodluck Jonathan, and threatens next month’s Edo State Governorship election.
In a statement today by Kayode Robert Idowu, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, INEC said that the 5 June judgment in the suit by Bedding Holdings Limited, concerns the transparent ballot boxes it claims to have been last used by INEC in the 2003 Ggeneral elections.
“In effect, it has nothing to do with the polythene, collapsible transparent ballot boxes used for the 2011 General Elections and all other elections conducted since then, including the impending Edo State Governorship Election,” the statement said.
With reference to the court’s perpetual injunction concerning “electronic collapsible transparent ballot boxes,” INEC said that it is not using them and has no intention of using them in the Edo State gubernatorial contest. In a report, the International Centre for Investigative Reporting said that the Federal High Court in Abuja against INEC and six others over the use of transparent ballot boxes has invalidated the entire 2011 general elections.
Beddings Holdings Limited had sued INEC; its chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega; the Registrar of Patents of the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and four companies.
In his ruling, Justice Adamu Bello declared that the electoral body used the transparent ballot boxes illegally without the consent of the valid patent owner to be unconstitutional, illegal, unlawful and therefore null and void.