The Federal High Court in Lagos, has granted an injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from using, engaging or further dealing with the Chairman of the Lagos Parks and Garages, Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo or any of his representatives in the distribution of election materials and adhoc staff for the forthcoming polls in the state.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke granted the injunction following an application filed by the Labour Party and its governorship candidate in the state, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour; as well as the Boot Party and its flag bearer in the state, Wale Oluwo.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos, restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC from taking any steps or further steps whatsoever in furtherance of the engagement of the Lagos State Parks Management Committee led by Musiliu Akinsanya popularly known as MC Oluomo to distribute election materials and personnel in Lagos state on election days pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Justice Aneke made the order, while granting an an exparte application brought by Labour Party and five others.
The applicants had sought for an interlocutory injunction restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission, 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.
Meanwhile the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier said that it had no option but to engage Lagos State Parks Management Committee to distribute election materials and personnel in the state on election days.
Justifying the position, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Lagos State, Olusegun Agbaje, said this during the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) meeting at the INEC in Lagos.
Agbaje was responding to questions on controversies around the engagement of the Parks Management Committee led by Musiliu Akinsanya (aka MC Oluomo), a Lagos APC chieftain, to distribute election materials.
It would be recalled that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State had banned the operations of the Nation Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in the state and set up Park Management Committees to administer operations.
The PDP’s Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, had, however, warned INEC not to use the Parks Management Committee led by Akinsanya, a former NURTW chairman and APC stalwart, to distribute election materials in order not to compromise the election’s integrity.
Mr Abubakar, in a statement on 2 February by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, said that INEC must preserve the sanctity of the election and ensure that there is no room for electoral malpractice.
He said that in doing so, INEC must ensure that the MC Oluomo-led committee was not mobilised to move materials.
Mr Shaibu maintained that Mr Akinsanya remained a member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council and had held solidarity rallies for the party and its presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu.
Speaking on the controversies, Mr Agbaje said that the commission was not concerned about the person Akinsanya but about individual drivers and vehicle owners, to meet up with the high volume of logistics needs for the elections.
“There is a ban on the NURTW and RTEAN, we are only left with the Park Management system and NARTO (National Association of Road Transport Owners) and we are already working with NARTO.
“NARTO is not even able to meet up with 40 per cent of our vehicle requirements for this election. The commission in Lagos State does not have any option than to use park management system.
“We are not dealing with Oluomo, we are dealing with the park managers. Individual people that have vehicles are those we are going to use, he said