By Victor Nwachukwu
Owerri, Nov. 28, 2023
The Labour Party (LP) in Imo, on Tuesday, said it was not involved in the inspection of election materials conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Imo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that INEC displayed the materials for inspection in its headquarters in Owerri on Tuesday.
The materials were displayed in obedience to a court order obtained by the LP for the inspection of Certified True Copies of documents and other materials used for the governorship election on November 11.
Applications for the inspection of the materials were submitted to INEC by the LP, PDP, APGA and YPP.
Addressing newsmen, state LP Chairman, Mr. Callistus Ihejiagwa, faulted the process of the inspection, pointing out that the parties had yet to agree on the modalities for the inspection.
Ihejiagwa expressed disappointment that although the LP had got a court order mandating INEC to make the materials available for inspection, the party could not proceed with the process as there were no agreed rules and modalities.
He distanced the party from “the flawed process”, and berated INEC for “falling below expectations“.
According to him, there was no agreed formular for the inspection.
“We are here at the behest of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Owerri, which granted us an Order of Court to inspect the materials used for the November 11 governorship election.
“INEC failed to establish modalities for the inspection as agreed and we cannot afford to proceed with the process.
“At the moment, INEC has not told us which materials they have made available for inspection.
“As far as we are concerned, there’s no inspection going on here today,” he said.
The lawyer representing PDP, Mr. Gozie Nwachukwu, described the environment and process as “disorganised, devoid of meaningful logic and not fit to serve its intended purpose“.
Nwachukwu called on INEC to reorganise itself with a view to carrying out the process in a more decent fashion so that all the stakeholders can go home satisfied.
The INEC Head of Voter Education and Publicity in the state, Mrs. Emmanuella Ben-Opara, had earlier confirmed that the materials requested for inspection were all ready and waiting to be inspected.
NAN further reports that the inspection venue was however crowded by supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who chanted solidarity songs intermittently.