Imo poll: INEC frustrating efforts to inspect BIVAS, LP cries out

Labour Party, LP and its governorship candidate in the Imo governorship election, Athan Achononu, have cried out that Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was frustrating their efforts to inspect the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System, BVAS, used for the November 11, poll.

LP in a statement on Thursday, by its National Publicity Secretary, Obiora Ifoh, said:

After 19 days of the conduct of the governorship election in Imo State, candidate of LP in the election, Sen. Athan Achononu has raised alarm that INEC is frustrating every attempt to inspect the B-VAS used during the conduct of the exercise.

Labour Party, LP

Recall that presidential candidate of the same party Peter Obi on Monday lamented that several months after the Supreme Court delivered judgment on the presidential election, he was yet to get a Certified True Copy, CTC, after he requested and made payments for it.

Sen. Achononu in chat with the media in Abuja on Wednesday wondered why the electoral empire is foot dragging in allowing him access to the materials knowing fully well that he has limited times to tender his evidence before the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal.

The former lawmaker who claimed that he won the election, said that the delay in releasing the BVAS for inspection my be part of the plans by the ruling party to force him to file his petitions out of time and get his matter struck out on technical grounds.

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He said ‘What is happening right now is that we went to the tribunal, got an order for us to be allowed to inspect the BVAS.

INEC has refused to let us inspect the BVAS up till now. Lawyers and experts were hired at a very huge cost per day 30 million, they are not allowing us to inspect it despite court order.’

The governorship candidate called on President Bola Tinubu, whom he described a democratic who went through the trenches to ensure that democracy returns to the country, to intervene and compel INEC to do the right thing.

He said that Tinubu’s antecedent as one who fought for democracy is the only thing sustaining his desire to seek justice at the tribunal.

What gives me confidence is that Sen Tinubu was on the street for June 12, he made us believe that he was a democrat fighting for justice, freedom of choice and equal opportunity.

Well, he is in the same party with Sen. Hope Uzodimma but this country shouldn’t be about party, it should be about quality of persons, what do you represent.

I was in the senate with the first Lady, Sen. Tinubu, I know the kind of person she is, a person of integrity, how can they allow this kind of thing to happen under their watch.” He queried.

Sen. Achononu said that the INEC Chairman during the stakeholders meeting pledged that election result collations will start from the ward to the local government before the state but lamented that collation never took place in any ward.

He accused INEC of colluding with the ruling party in the state to announced results that were not signed even when party agents were raising objections as to the credibility of those results.

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When we came to stakeholders meeting, we told the INEC chairman Prof. Mahmoud that there are certain things he needs to put in place for a smooth election. One is the removal of the REC.

Secondly is that collation must take place at the ward level, local government level before the state level.

We insisted that the result sheets must be signed by three officers, a national commissioner, the REC and each EO will sign that of his local government so that there will be no manipulation of the result sheets and he agreed.

But surprisingly on the election day, there was no collation at the ward level even in some local government.

They moved everything to the state and in those places where there were insecurity and no election, results were collated, there were cluster voting in Orsu,’ Achononu lamented.

The LP candidate, however, expresses slight hope that he will get justice in the judiciary, saying that all hope is not lost.

He said, ‘I still have belief and faith in the survival of this country. I still claim that there are some men of integrity within the judiciary. These are men who hold the power of life and death over us.

These are men who are supposed to live above reproach. There must be one or two of them, I hope I come across one of them in my case. I still believe in this country no matter what anybody says.

Something will happen. Yes, I have come across a lot of men of integrity in this country, very few of them. I want to think that this will be the first test case of the judiciary, let’s see what happens” he said with an air of matchless confidence,” the statement added.

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