The Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in Imo State, Senator Athan Achonu, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of frustrating his legal team’s efforts at inspecting the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and other electoral materials used for the election despite getting a court injunction.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday, Achonu said the election that produced Senator Hope Uzodimma as Imo State governor, was marred by several electoral malpractices which the party is prepared to prove at the tribunal.
He alleged that INEC is deliberately placing obstacles on the path of the Labour Party in order to prevent them from pursuing their case before the Imo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
“What is happening now as I speak is that we went to the court, and got an order to be allowed to inspect the BVAS. This is a governor who claimed won the election by a landslide. There has been no celebration in the entire Imo State,” he said.
“Imo Sate looks like a graveyard. But (when) the judgment for Owerri municipal came out the other day (in favour of) the Labour Party candidate, Clinton Amadi, Owerri erupted into joy. The whole streets were almost closed.
“Now I begin to wonder how a governor who INEC has declared has won an election. INEC has refused to let us inspect the BVAS. As we speak, lawyers and experts we hired at a huge cost of N30 million are there. We are not been allowed to inspect them in spite of the court order. What is INEC up to? I don’t understand what is going on in my country.”
Achonu’s allegation comes a week after he led his supporters to protest at the national headquarters of INEC in Abuja over its failure to issue them the true certified copy of the just concluded poll result.
The LP candidate who was accompanied by the National Youth Leader, Kennedy Ahanotu, had accused the electoral umpire of playing a double standard at the November 11 off-cycle election where Governor Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress was declared winner.
While Uzodimma polled 540,308 votes, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Samuel Anyanwu polled scored 71,503 votes. Achonu came third with 64,081 votes.
Both the PDP and LP candidates have since rejected the outcome of the election and have headed to court to claim what they insist is their mandate.