Following the delay in the release of Certified True Copy of the November 11 governorship poll result in Imo State, members of the Labour Party (LP) have staged a protest at the state secretariat of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Owerri.
Calistus Ihejiagwa, State’s LP Chairman, who led the enraged members on Monday, accused INEC of trying to frustrate the Party before challenging the result of the November poll.
The LP members, who sang solidarity songs, displayed placards with various inscriptions such as, ‘INEC justice delayed is justice denied,’ ‘INEC release CTC,’ ‘INEC should be independent’ and so on.
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.
According to Ihejiagwa, INEC and the security agents allegedly connived with the members of the All Progressives Congress to compromise the election.
He said LP 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 at the election petition tribunal.
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“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,” Ihejiagwa, who was on wheelchair lamented.
Emmanuelle Opara, INEC’s Head of Voter Education and Logistics, in reaction, said that INEC had already acknowledged the receipt of the Party’s application, as it was the right of the party to do so.
“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,” Opara said.