Imo LP candidate raises alarm, alleges INEC of frustrating party’s attempt to inspect BVAS

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Following the governorship election in Imo State that took place 19 days ago, Senator Athan Achononu of the Labour Party (LP) has made grave accusations against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a stunning admission, Senator Achononu charged INEC with preventing him from obtaining election materials that he needed for his Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal case.

The LP candidate bemoaned INEC’s unwillingness to comply with a court order and let the Bi-modal Voter Accreditation System (B-VAS) to be inspected.

He claimed the action was planned as a calculated delay tactic by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to impede the filing of his plea, perhaps resulting in its rejection on procedural grounds.

Senator Achononu demanded that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu order INEC to maintain electoral openness.

In his own words: “We went to the Tribunal and received an order allowing us to inspect the BVAS. This is what is happening right now. Thus far, INEC has declined to let us to examine the BVAS.

“We hired experts and lawyers at a very high cost per day—N30 million—but they won’t let us inspect it even after a court order.”

Senator Achononu reported at the stakeholders meeting that the INEC Chairman had promised that wards would be the first to get election results before the state, but he regretted that no ward had ever had a collation session.

Even though party operatives expressed doubts about the results’ veracity, he charged INEC of conspiring with the state’s ruling party to announce results that were not signed.

“We informed Prof. Mahmoud, the chairman of INEC, during the stakeholders’ meeting that there are a few things he needs to do to ensure a seamless election.

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“The REC’s removal is one. The second is that, prior to the state level, collation must occur at the ward and local government levels.

In order to prevent result sheet manipulation, we insisted that all three officers sign the sheets: the REC, the national commissioner, and each EO who signs on behalf of their local government. He complied.

Surprisingly, though, not even in certain local governments was there ward-level collation on election day. Everything was shifted to the state, and cluster voting was conducted in Orsu where there was no election and instability, according to Achononu’s regrettable remarks.

But, the LP candidate said that there is still some hope and that he will receive justice from the courts.

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