The INEC National Commissioner for Voter Education, Festus Okoye, has revealed why the Independent Electoral Commission has denied the Labour Party from having assess to election materials in the concluded Presidential election.
Speaking in an Interview with Arise Television, the commissioner stated that the INEC headquarters does not have the materials being required from them.
He stated that they cannot grant outsiders access without the Labour Party giving them the specification of the kind of material that they are requesting for.
According to him, there is a need to situate things properly to the press in order not to blackmail the commission.
He said, ‘The Commission will not deliberately disobey the order of a properly constituted court of law. And in this case, the Presidential election petition are still at the court of appeal.
“I think what the lawyers involved in this election should do is send lawyers who understand the trajectory of the electoral process. To come to the commission and request for some of these materials.
If you are requesting to scan ballot papers, no ballot papers is in the INEC headquarters. Some of them are still in our Local Government offices.
“The commission at the national level does not conduct elections, election are conducted at the state level and also at the local government level.
“So depending on the material that you are looking for. If you are looking for ballot paper, we have to direct you to the state offices.
“What we are witnessing now is that some of the lawyers will be requesting for certified true copies of over 100 documents and then walk across the gates to say they have been denied access to INEC materials.”
If you would recall that the court granted the Labour Party access to inspect the election materials used by INEC. However, the Lawyers of the Labour Party have complained over the resistance from INEC to inspect election materials. The Labour Party threatened to protest at INEC offices across the country if the materials are not released.