The Labour Party in Imo State has raised allegations against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), asserting that the electoral body is obstructing access to certified true copies (CTC) of documents used in the concluded November 11 election.
The party’s candidate, Athan Achonu, has reportedly been denied access despite an official request made by their solicitors and duly acknowledged by the State INEC Office on November 15, 2023.
Chibuikem Diala, Director of Media and Publicity for the Senator Athan Achonu Campaign Organisation, in a statement expressed concern over what they perceive as delay tactics by INEC.
The statement stated, ” Our notice has been drawn to mischievous plans by Imo State INEC under Prof. Sylvia Agu to deny our legal team access to certified true copies of documents used for the November 11 governorship election in Imo State as required by law.
“This is after an official request has been made by our solicitors to the State INEC Office, duly acknowledged and received on November 15, 2023.
“It is pertinent at this stage to alert the national chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agencies of these devious delay tactics, which may be to further deny our party and the candidate of the Labour Party in the November 11 election justice. This is unacceptable and we request that INEC do the needful immediately, as time is of the essence.
“Some pertinent questions begging for answers include: If INEC does not have anything to hide and is willing to come to equity with clean hands, why then delay the release of the CTC of requested materials?
“INEC was so efficient in announcing the results of 27 LGA in less than 12 hours after the elections; why then is it taking the same INEC over 144 hours to issue the documents backing their pronouncements? One would expect a better and more efficient approach from the electoral body.
“We only hope that this delay is not a decoy by Imo State INEC and agents of the APC-led government to perfect their rigging by tampering with sensitive materials in INEC office. This strategy to deny the people of Imo State the opportunity to have a leader of their choice will not work, as we call on INEC to do the needful and stop taking Imolites for granted.
“Therefore, we also call on the security agencies and INEC, led by Prof. Mahmoud, to do all they can to ensure that the certified true copies are released as requested and timely too,” the statement emphasized.
“While we wait for INEC to do the needful speedily, we further assure the caretaker governor in Imo State to enjoy his “Certificate of Return” only for a moment as he will soon return it to the rightful owner,” the statement concluded.