… We only presented results collated from polling units – LP
… Let me confirm from legal team – INEC’s spokesperson
By Chinonso Alozie
The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, on Thursday accused the Labour Party, LP, of attempt to smuggle forged copies of Certified True Copy, CTC, of the November 11, 2023 Imo governorship election materials.
The APC, State Director, Data Management Centre, Terence Onyejiaku, made this known to newsmen during inspection of the election materials, at the Owerri office of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, located at Owerri-Port Harcourt road in Imo.
According to Onyejiaku, “We came to observe the inspection of the election materials as the court ordered for the opposition parties that are challenging the result of the governorship election at the tribunal. We have inspected 13 local government areas out of the 27 LGAs, and INEC have shown us the entirety of the BVAs machines of the 27 LGAs, by Friday we will complete the remaining 14 LGAs.
“When we started, the Labour Party team sought to use a document that they purported was the certified True Copy of BVAs report. But when they were challenged by INEC, they admitted that the document wasn’t the true copy but was their document which they allotted figures to certain polling units and they were using the document to impinge the integrity of data bottom line from the BVAs machines, but the INEC stood their ground, insisting that it was not the true copy.
“The ill-fated attempt by the LP to present a false document as a certified true copy of the BVAS (Biometric Voter Accreditation System) was brought to light during the inspection of the CTC, by vigilant APC agents who discovered that the LP had smuggled in a false document, in clear violation of the court order that granted them access to inspect the CTC. This deceitful act is a clear indication of the lengths the LP is willing to go to in order to upturn the people’s will in the last governorship election through fraudulent means.
“At this point, it is crucial for LP to understand that the state has transitioned to the governance phase, and the time for politicking and manipulation has passed. The people have spoken through the ballot, and the declared winner of the governorship election, Gov. Hope Uzodimma, deserves to be respected and supported in his efforts to lead the state. LP’s attempt to undermine INEC and the legitimate winner of the election is not only unethical but also a disservice to the people of Imo State.
“Instead of engaging in a futile attempt to smear the integrity of INEC and the elected governor, LP and her candidate should desist from desperate and unlawful acts aimed at scoring cheap points and gaining popularity. It is evident that the people of Imo State have rejected the party and its candidate long before now, and their deceitful actions will only further alienate them from the electorate. It is time for LP to accept the will of the people and contribute positively to the development and progress of Imo State, rather than resorting to dishonest and fraudulent practices.”
Reacting, the State Publicity of Labour Party, LP, Bright Offurum, said: “The long and short of the story is that we have asked INEC, to allow us access to the BVAS with which they said they conducted the election. The result we presented were the results we collated at the polling units level. What we are saying if you use BVAS for the election just give us access to inspect it. They have not given us access and that is what we are saying.
“The results we presented were the results we collated from the polling units. We are saying that let us have access to the election materials from where you (INEC) said you declared the results of the governorship election from.”
At the time of filing this report, the INEC’s spokesperson in the state, Godlight MaryAnn, was yet to respond but she said she would confirm from the legal department before responding.