There was an uproar at the Imo State governorship election collation center on Sunday as agents of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party insisted on reading petitions before the collation of results could begin.
The commotion started when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) commenced the collation of Saturday’s off-cycle governorship election results in the state at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday as it earlier promised.
After the ground rules had been laid, a Labour Party agent said the party had a petition to present before the collation of results. However, the state returning officer, Abayomi Fashina, declined, saying he could not allow the petition to be read at the moment because he was not an INEC official and neither was he a lawyer nor a judge.
“I’m not going to listen to you,” he said. But the Labour Party agent insisted on reading the petition.
Amid their argument, the PDP agent also said the party had a petition to submit before the collation of results started.
“There’s nothing that said I should collect any petition from anybody. The mandate in the rules and regulations does not cover that I should collect petitions from anybody. My letter says I should collate the result. The guidelines and rules, it does not give room for the petition. I am not the tribunal,” the REC replied.
The two-party agents are still insisting on reading out their petitions as the returning officer shunned them to continue his duty.