By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA—Activities at the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Headquarters in Abuja, were temporary disrupted yesterday when the Anambra state Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, House of Representatives members-elect stormed the commission demanding that they be issued their Certificates of Return.
The politicians claimed that since they were the candidates of the authentic PDP in the state, whose primaries were also supervised by the commission, they should be issued the Certificates of Return.
The aggrieved House of Representatives members-elect who are in the camp of Ejike Oguebego led PDP, however vowed to exploit every legal means available to ensure that INEC issued them their certificates.
The protesters were candidates of the party removed by the commission, prior to the 2015 elections on the account of an Appeal Court judgment which has since been set aside by the Supreme Court ruling.
However, after waiting for 106 days of the Supreme Court ruling, the candidates stormed INEC headquarters in Abuja yesterday for the second time in two months to demand for what they claimed to be their right.
The politicians who came under the umbrella body of ‘Committee of Anambra State PDP House of Representatives Members-elect’ arrived at the commission’s Abuja headquarters as early as 8.30 am, with their supporters who stormed the venue with four buses.
Supporters of the committee carried placards with inscriptions like ‘INEC, Obey Federal High Court and Supreme Court Ruling”; “INEC Do The Right Thing, Give Us Certificates of Return”; INEC, Silence for 106 days is Injustice.”
The leader of the group, Mr. Anthony Offiah, while addressing journalists, said they came back to the commission after INEC failed to get back to them as promised. He regretted that four months after the Supreme Court judgment, INEC was yet to restore their right.
He said the peaceful protest was the second in two months to press home their request which he said was simple.
Offiah noted that their demand was a legal one, saying “We protested in this venue on the 30th of March, 2016. INEC spoke to us through the Director of security promising to table our grievances to the Chairman and his national commissioners and till date, no reply has been received from INEC leadership.”