Members of the Labour Party in Imo State on Monday protested at the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Owerri, the state capital, over the alleged delay in releasing the Certified True Copy result of the just concluded governorship election in the state.
The state chairman of LP, Calistus Ihejiagwa, who led the aggrieved members, accused INEC of trying to frustrate the party from challenging the result of the election.
The members who sang solidarity songs displayed placards with various inscriptions such as: ‘INEC is supposed not to unbiased,’ ‘INEC, justice delayed is justice denied,’ ‘INEC, release CTC’ and ‘INEC should be independent’ among others.
Speaking to journalists, the LP chairman said the result as declared by INEC was not a true reflection of what transpired at the polling units.
Ihejiagwa, who was in a wheelchair, said INEC and the security agents allegedly connived with the members of the All Progressives Congress to compromise the election.
He said his party was ready to challenge the outcome of the election in court, but INEC staff members were allegedly employing delay tactics in a bid to frustrate the party.
He said, “The first time I came here was on the evening of November 11. I was hale and hearty and strong, and I came with my two legs.
“But I was beaten mercilessly and thrown outside from inside the collation room in the presence of the state Commissioner of Police, two federal commissioners of INEC, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof Sylvia Agu, heads of security chiefs in the state by thugs because I demanded that the right thing should be done.
“Today, I am here again in a wheelchair, rising from the severe assault by the APC thugs on the evening of November 11, which had affected my spinal cord, demanding from the INEC to give us the certified true copy of the fake results they used in declaring Hope Uzodimma and they have refused nine days after the election.
“The National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, the National Commissioner representing the South East, Ken Ukaogu, and the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof Sylvia Agu, have refused to release the CTC after nine days.
“They mocked the Labour Party inside the collation hall that we should go to court. The Returning Officer, Prof Abayomi Fasina, had bluntly told us to go to court. We have applied for the CTC so that we can go to court, but INEC is delaying, which is deliberate, just to frustrate us.
“We have come here this afternoon so that the entire world will hear our voice that INEC is frustrating us.”
Responding, the INEC’s Head of Voter Education and Logistics, Emmanuelle Opara, said the commission had already acknowledged the receipt of the application of the party for the CTC.
She said, “INEC has already acknowledged the receipt of the party’s application for the certified true copy of the governorship election and will be made available to you as it is your right to do so.
“The results are being assembled and will be costed and, when it is ready, you will be notified and when you pay, it will be given to you “
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