Tony Icheku in Owerri
Some Imo State serving and former legislators yesterday appealed to the governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP), Senators Samuel Anyanwu and Athan Achonu respectively to forgo any intended court action over the November 11, 2023 governorship election arguing that there is always a victor and vanquished, and an end to every contest.
In a related development, the LP has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of delaying the release of certified true copies (CTCs) of documents used for the November 11 governorship election in the State.
The Imo lawmakers under the aegis of Imo State Joint Parliament (ISJP) in a letter congratulated Governor Hope Uzodimma for emerging triumphant in the polls described the election as free, fair and transparent. However the lawmakers urged INEC to address lapses noticed in the election through adequate legislation before next election.
In the statement signed by Hon. Ezediaro Henry Uzoma on behalf of ISJP, the PDP and LP Guber flagbearers were urged to refrain from filing any petition at the Elections Petition Tribunal as such an exercise would be mere distraction and waste of public money.
The ISJP further promised to mobilise moral and financial support should either Anyanwu, Achonu or any other lawmaker secures the governorship ticket irrespective of party affiliation.
In the statement by LP urging INEC to release the CTCs for documents used in the election, the LP queried INEC’s lukewarm reaction to its release as contrasted with the speed it adopted in announcing the results of the Imo election.
According to the statement signed by Mr Chibuikem Diala, spokesperson of the Achonu Campaign Organisation, LP urged Professor Mahmood Yakubu, INEC’s National Chairman, to prevail on Prof Sylvia Agu, Imo Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), to fast-track the release of the election-related documents, noting that INEC received and acknowledged its official request for the documents on November 15.
“INEC was as so efficient to announce the results of 27 LGAs of Imo in less than 12 hours after the election.
“One wonders why the commission is taking over 144 hours to release the documents backing their pronouncements. One would expect a better and efficient approach from the electoral umpire.
“We sincerely hope that this delay is not a decoy by INEC in Imo and agents of the APC led-government to tamper with sensitive materials in INEC’s possession”, the statement said.