Some members of the Labour Party in Imo State, on Monday, staged a protest at the state secretariat office of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Owerri, the state capital, over the alleged delay in the release of the Certified True Copy of the result of the just-concluded governorship election in the state.
The LP Chairman in the state, Calistus Ihejiagwa, who led the enraged members of the opposition, accused INEC of trying to frustrate his party from challenging the result of the November poll.
The LP members, who sang solidarity songs, displayed placards with various inscriptions such as, ‘INEC is supposed not be biased’, ‘INEC justice delayed is justice denied’, ‘INEC release CTC’, ‘INEC should be independent’, etc.
Speaking to journalists at the Imo INEC headquarters, the LP chairman said the result as declared by INEC was not the 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 were allegedly employing delay tactics in a bid to frustrate the party from challenging the result of the election at the election petition tribunal.
He said, “The first time I came here was on the evening of 11 November, I was hale and hearty, strong and I came with my two legs. But I was beaten mercilessly and thrown outside from inside the collation room right 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, and thugs because I had demanded that the right thing should be done.
“The National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the federal 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.
“We have come here this afternoon so that the entire world will hear our voice that INEC is frustrating us, using technical reasons that the delay from is one office or the other.”
Responding, INEC’s Head of Voter Education and Logistics, Emmanuelle Opara, said that INEC had already acknowledged the receipt of the application of the party for the certified true copy of the November 11 governorship polls, as it was the right of the party to do so.
She said, “INEC has already acknowledged the receipt of the application of the party for the certified true copy of the governorship election results and will be made available to you as it is your right to do so.
“The results are being assembled and will be valued and, when it is ready, you will be notified and when you pay it will be given to you.”
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