The Imo State branch of the Labour Party raised concerns on Saturday that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was obstructing their legal team from obtaining the certified true copy of documents used in the recent governorship election.
The party claimed that INEC was intentionally stalling the process to impede their plans of contesting the election outcome at the election petitions tribunal.
The party’s spokesperson for the election, Chibuikem Diala, issued a statement urging INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu to intervene and request INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner Sylvia Agu to release the certified true copy to the legal team of the Labour Party candidate, Nathan Achonu.
The statement read in part, “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 important at this stage to alert the national chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission 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.”
The party emphasized the urgency of the situation and demanded that INEC take immediate action.
It added, “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 at the 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.
“While we wait for INEC to speedily do the needful, 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.”