Enugu – The spokesman of the Labour Party, LP in Enugu State, Engr George Ugwu has accused the State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) Dr Chukwuemeka Chukwu of partisanship and wilful disobedience of a court order mandating the party and it’s agents to inspect the Bimodal Voter Accreditation Systems used for the March 18 elections in the state.
Engr Ugwu made the accusations on Wednesday, 12th July, 2023 while addressing a press conference at the INEC Enugu State Office.
has continued to defy an order of court mandating him to allow the Labour Party and its candidate for the 2023 elections in Enugu State, Barr. Chijioke Edeoga, to inspect the Bimodal Voter Accreditation Systems used for the March 18 elections in the state.
The Enugu State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal had issued an order compelling INEC to allow the Labour Party inspect the BVAS machines used in voter accreditation in some parts of the state.
But a few days ago, the Labour Party governorship candidate, had written a petition to the National Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, accusing the Enugu REC of refusal to comply with the order of the tribunal, an allegation that was denied, prompting the scheduling of the inspection for Wednesday, July 12, 2023.
Contrary to the order of the court, the Head of Department, Voter Education at INEC, Mr. Chuka Rex Achumie, invited members of the Peoples Democratic Party, insisting that Labour Party will not conduct the inspection without the agreement of the PDP.
According to eye witness accounts, this situation led to a shouting match at the INEC premises in Enugu, leading to the alleged disruption of the exercise.
All entreaties by the LP team and the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Independence Layout Police Station, to allow LP to carry out the order granted them by the Court, Mr. Achumie insisted that no inspection was going to take place without the agreement of the PDP.
Addressing the Press at the INEC premises, the Spokesman of the Edeoga Campaign organisation, Engr. George Ugwu lamented the situation where INEC would become partisan in an exercise it was supposed to be the umpire and called on well-meaning Nigerians to advise the electoral body to toe the path of honour by respecting a court order.
“We do not understand what these people are doing. As you can see, we arrived here expecting to inspect the BVAS machines, How the INEC invited the PDP and insisted they will have to agree before we carry out the inspection is what we do not understand.”
“This is the height of impunity and we want Nigerians to bear witness that Enugu REC and INEC are not only showing unhindered partisanship but also disobeying an order of the tribunal in an attempt to frustrate our search for justice,” Engr Ugwu said.
He said as law abiding citizens, the Labour Party will continue to explore lawful means to reclaim the mandate that he said was given to it by the people of Enugu State.
As at the time of going to press, attempts to get the State Resident Electoral Commissioner or any representative of INEC in the State to respond to the above accusations have proved abortive.