By Victor Nwachukwu
Owerri, Nov. 20, 2023
The Labour Party (LP) in Imo, on Monday, embarked on a protest march against the alleged delay by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to release the Certified True Copies (CTCs) of documents of the November 11 Governorship poll.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state party Chairman, Mr. Callistus Ihejiagwa, led the protest by party supporters to the INEC Office on Port Harcourt Road, Owerri.
Ihejiagwa said that the party had long applied for the CTCs but regretted that INEC had yet to release the documents, nine days after the poll.
He, therefore, urged the National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, and INEC Federal Commissioner for the South-East, Mr. Ken Ukaogu, to prevail on the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Sylvia Agu, “to release the documents, as requested”.
“As collation of results was about to begin at the state collation centre here in Owerri, I petitioned INEC, concerning the manner of accreditation at the polling units, as reported by our agents across the state.
“My petition, however, fell on deaf ears as the Returning Officer, Prof. Abayomi Fasina, said it was not in his jurisdiction to hear the petition and asked us to go to court.
“Nine days on, it beats our imagination that INEC, which collated and announced results just 12 hours after the election, has yet to release the very documents – the CTCs of election documents – we need to pursue litigation,” Ihejiagwa said.
Responding, INEC’s Head, Voter Education and Publicity in Imo, Mrs. Emmanuella Ben-Opara, said the documents were being assembled and would be released to the party in due course.
“We received your request for CTCs, minuted on it and your application is being attended to as the materials are being assembled as we speak.
“When we’re done, and on payment of the cost, we will release the documents to you.
“Please remain civil,” Ben-Opara said.