Labour Party distances itself from INEC's election materials inspection in Imo
According to Ihejiagwa, the absence of an agreed formula for the inspection raised concerns.
The inspection, which took place at the INEC headquarters in Owerri, was in compliance with a court order obtained by the LP.
The LP, alongside the People's Democratic Party (PDP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), and Young Progressives Party (YPP), had submitted applications to INEC for the inspection of Certified True Copies of documents and other materials used in the governorship election held on November 11.
Speaking to reporters, Callistus Ihejiagwa, the state LP Chairman, expressed dissatisfaction with the inspection process, highlighting that the involved parties had not reached a consensus on the modalities 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," Ihejiagwa stated.
Despite obtaining a court order mandating INEC to provide the materials for inspection, Ihejiagwa lamented that the absence of agreed-upon rules and modalities hindered the LP from progressing with the inspection. He distanced the party from what he termed a "flawed process" and criticised INEC for falling below expectations.
According to Ihejiagwa, the absence of an agreed formula for the inspection raised concerns. "As far as we are concerned, there’s no inspection going on here today," he declared.
Gozie Nwachukwu, the lawyer representing the PDP, also voiced dissatisfaction, describing the environment and process as "disorganised, devoid of meaningful logic, and not fit to serve its intended purpose."
He called on INEC to reorganise and carry out the process in a more orderly manner to ensure the satisfaction of all stakeholders.
Emmanuella Ben-Opara, the INEC Head of Voter Education and Publicity in the state, confirmed that the requested materials were ready for inspection.
However, the inspection venue saw intermittent disruptions from supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who chanted solidarity songs, further adding to the tense atmosphere.
As the disagreement over inspection modalities continues, stakeholders await a resolution that will allow for a transparent and orderly examination of the election materials in accordance with the court order.
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