The Labour Party (LP) in Imo State has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of frustrating and denying its request for certified true copies of documents used for the state’s November 11 governorship election.
The party’s Director of Media and Publicity, Athan Achonu Campaign Organisation, Mr Chibuikem Diala, made the accusation in a statement issued on Saturday in Owerri.
Diala said that the party’s solicitors had officially requested the copies from INEC on November 15, and that the request had been duly acknowledged and received. He expressed concern about the delay in releasing the documents.
“We call on the National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to prevail on the commission’s Resident Electoral Commissioner in Imo, Prof. Sylvia Agu, to release the documents,” Diala said. “Time is of the essence.”
He questioned INEC’s efficiency, stating that the commission had been able to announce the results of 27 local government areas in Imo within 12 hours after the election but was taking over 144 hours to release the documents backing up its pronouncements.
“One would expect a better and more efficient approach from the electoral body,” Diala said.
He expressed his fear that the delay might be a ploy by INEC and agents of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government to tamper with sensitive materials in the commission’s possession.
Diala urged security agencies to remain vigilant and ensure that the certified true copies are released as requested and in a timely manner.
He commended LP supporters for their steadfastness and assured them that the party’s candidate, Sen. Athan Achonu, was committed to retrieving his mandate through due process.