The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said once again that Imo governor, Rochas Okorocha, did not win the Imo West senate seat fairly and so would not be issued a certificate of return.
- The only condition under which he would get a certificate is if a court rules in his favor, according to Festus Okoye, the INEC Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education.
- “If the cases instituted against the commission by the affected candidates on the matter decided otherwise, INEC would comply,” he said.
The other culprits: INEC said Okorocha is not the only one being denied a certificate. Three others with similar fates are “the Otu-Opi Federal Constituency in Benue, Agayi State Constituency and another in Akwa Ibom.”
Why it matters: “What INEC is saying is that you can’t engage in bad electoral behaviour and expect INEC to reward you with a certificate. Our certificate is only for those who won freely. Issuance of certificates of return is a statutory function of INEC; it is only issued to those who won election and must be done through the free will of a returning officer.”
- In the cases above, INEC said the returning officers were under duress to make the announcement.