The Ogun State Chapter of Labour Party has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of denying it access to inspect the electoral materials used for the March 9, governorship election in Ogun State.
The party through its legal counsel, Barr. Hassan Balogun said
it had filed a motion exparte on 2nd of April, 2019 in its petition marked EPT/OG/GOV/03/2019 directing INEC to grant access to labour party to inspect electoral materials used in the governorship election of the March 9th governorship election.
According to Balogun, since 9th April, 2019 the honourable tribunal granted the motion, the party had on 15th April, 2019 also wrote a letter requesting INEC to comply with the court court.
The LP’s lawyer noted that, the party had requested for a date when the inspection would be done and copies of relevant documents would be made in their custody.
He however lamented INEC’s unyielding attitude to honour the tribunal’s directive to grant Labour Party’s request, while granting same request for the Allied Peoples Movement (APM).
“Apparently, they have intentionally decided to disobey the order of the honourable tribunal.
“Moreso, when the same body (INEC) only desire to grant access to the APM to inspect the same set of documents. We don not know the reason why INEC has decided to merry in contempt of court, but it is clear that their intention is to frustrate our petition and hinder the cost of justice.
“We have advised our client accordingly, and we have their instruction to commence contempt proceeding against the Ogun State Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC and any of his colleagues who are found wanting in that regard.
“We have also consider all our other options, in other to ensure that our client do not suffer or at most mitigate the effect of INEC’s persistent refusal to grant us access to the relevant electoral materials and further prosecute our client’s case diligently.
“But because the matter is in court, it will be prejudicial to our application for commital which we intend to file anytime soon. But all that is apparent is that INEC’s refusal to comply with the order of the honourable tribunal which was granted on 9th of April 2019 was premeditated.”
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has refuted Labour Party’s allegation saying the commissionSecretary under obligation to allow all petitioners to have access to the election materials.
The commission’s Administrative Sec in Ogun State, Mr. Oludele Popoola maintained that, INEC cannot deny any petitioner access to the electoral materials, saying if the party truly apply, they would have been granted access.
“What we are telling some of them is that if they are requesting for electoral materials domicile in the local government office, they have would have to go to the local government office, because we don’t even have where to put them in the state office, but for the one we have at the state office, they’re always welcome to come”.