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Jega risks court sanction over Edo poll

News » Politics


 A Federal High Court in Abuja has asked the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to explain why he disobeyed its order barring the use of collapsible transparent ballot boxes for the July 14 governorship election in Edo State.

The summons issued by Justice Adamu Bello is contained in FORM 49, a notice to show cause for disobeying an order of the court.

Other parties affected by the summons are, INEC and the Registrar Of Patent, Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The summons read, “Take notice that the plaintiff will apply to this court for an order for committal to prison the alleged contemnors for having disobeyed the order of this court made on the 5th of June 2012 enjoining and restraining you.”

The summons arose from Jega’s failure to comply with the court’s judgment in a suit brought by Bedding Holdings Limited against INEC and other respondents over the use of the ballot boxes in the 2011 general elections.

The plaintiff claimed it had the patent right to the electoral material, and that INEC and the other respondents used it without first seeking and obtaining its permission, in line with patent laws.

In its judgment of June 5, 2012, the court declared as illegal, the use of the ballot boxes in the 2011 general elections by INEC without the consent of the owner of the patent right.

The court also barred INEC from using the boxes for any subsequent polls, including the Edo State governorship election, without first seeking the approval of the patent owner.

Meanwhile, INEC had explained that it deployed the ballot boxes for the Edo State election because it was not possible for the commission to procure new design of the boxes before the elections.

INEC’s explanation was contained in an affidavit the commission filed before the court in support of a motion in which it is seeking a stay of execution of the court judgment.

In the affidavit, dated June 28, 2012, the deponent, one Rahima Aminu, a legal officer of INEC, stated “The Edo State election is due to hold on14th July 2012, three weeks hence.

“The Ondo State Election is due to hold on 20th October, 2012 four months hence.

“I know that it is not feasible for the applicant to acquire/procure a new design or different ballot boxes for the said elections given the short time for the elections.”

Article Credit:Businessday News

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Updated 7 Years ago

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