– Opinions have been aired as to what is responsible for the attacks on INEC offices in the southeast, especially Imo state
– A former INEC commissioner, Lai Olurode, has claimed that the trend is due to the earlier Supreme Court verdict which brought Governor Hope Uzodinma to power
– Olurode argued that some persons are aggrieved over the fact that judicial victory, instead of legitimacy, installed the Uzodinma-led government
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The Supreme Court ruling of January 2020 which declared Hope Uzodinma as the governor of Imo state has been pointed at as the reason for the increased attacks on offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
This claim was made on Thursday, June 3, by a former national INEC commissioner, Professor Lai Olurode, during an exclusive interview by Punch.
In his opinion, Olurode explained that instead of listening to the popular demand, the apex court should have ordered another election.
Stating that the rampant attacks should not be taken as a revolt against democracy, the former INEC commissioner disclosed that in some of the states where the crimes are carried out, a lot of persons are expressing their grievances in ways that could have been avoided.
Using Imo as his case study, he argued that some concerned stakeholders are angry over feelings that the government came to be through judicial victory and not legitimacy as expected.
“If you take Imo State, for example, I think they are trying to communicate certain grievances that what they have in the state is a kind of judicial victory and legitimacy is still outstanding and there is no correspondence between judicial victory and legitimacy…
“There is no way the courtroom and their lordship can take the position of the electorate; it is antithetical, it is not going to work because the ballot box is an expression of the popular will of the people.”
The most recent attack on INEC properties in Imo
Earlier, INEC’s office in Imo state was razed by hoodlums on Sunday, May 30.
INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner for Imo, Professor Francis Ezeonu, reported that “although no life was lost, the building was substantially burnt down, along with electoral materials, office equipment, and furniture.”
The electoral commission disclosed that the incident which happened at the Njaba council area of the state has been made known to the police command for investigation.