Members of the Imo Labour Party (LP), on Monday, carried out a peaceful protest at the headquarters of the Imo state Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the delay of the release of the certified true copy (CTC) of the results of the November 11 governorship election.
Recall that the electoral umpire had declared the incumbent governor Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress ( APC) the winner of the election on the morning of 12 November.
The Labour Party Chairman, Barr Calistus Ihejiagwa led the aggrieved members of the party on the peaceful protest to the Imo state headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission along Owerri/ Port Harcourt Road.
The protesters in their large numbers sang solidarity songs, carrying placards with various inscriptions such as: ‘ INEC is supposed not be unabised’, INEC Justice delayed is Justice denied’, ‘INEC release CTC’ ‘INEC should be independent’ etc.
Speaking to Journalists at the Imo INEC headquarters, Barr. Ihejiagwa who was in the wheel of the Chair, accused the Electoral body of employing delay tactics to frustrate the efforts of the party from filing its petitions before the election tribunal as the INEC is yet to release the certified true copy of the governorship election results nine days after the Electoral body had declared the candidate of the APC candidate and incumbent, Senator Hope Uzodimma as the winner of the polls.
He said: “The first time I came here was on the evening of 11November, 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 , by thugs brought in by a top aide of governor Uzodimma, because I had demanded that the right thing should be done”.
He said: “Today , am here again in a wheel chair rising from the severe assault by the APC thugs on the evening of 11 November which had affected my spine cord, demanding from the INEC to give us the certified true copy of the fake results they used in declaring senator Hope Uzodimma and they have refused nine days of the election”.
According to him, the National Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, the federal Commission representing the South East, Ken Ukaogu and the State Resident Electoral Commissioner , prof Sylvia Agu have refused to release the CTC after 9 days.
The party chairman said that the electoral body mocked Labour Party inside the collation hall asking them to go to Court adding the Returning Officer, Prof Abayomi Fasina had bluntly told them from going to court.
He said: “We have applied for the CTC so that we can go to court but the INEC is delaying which is deliberate just to frustrate us”.
He said that the part has come here this afternoon so that the entire world will hear their voice that the INEC is frustrating them , using technical reasons that the delay from is one office or the other”.
Addressing the protesters , the Imo state INEC Head of Voter Education and Logistics , Mrs Emmanuella Opara , said that the INEC has already acknowledged the receipt of the application of the party for the certified true copy of 11 November governorship polls, as it 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 and will be made available to you as it is your right to do so. The results are being assembled and will be costed and , when it is ready you will be notified and when you pay, it will be given to you.”
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