The Governor of Imo state, Rochas Okorocha has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue him a Certificate of Return.
According to Daily Post, Okorocha said it is unconstitutional for INEC not to issue him a certificate after he was declared winner of the Imo West Senatorial election which held on February 23, 2019.
INEC omitted the Imo Governor’s name from the list of Senators-elect who will collect their Certificates Of Return on Thursday, March 14, 2019, following claims by a Returning Officer that he was held at gun point to declare Okorocha winner.
Enemies at work
Reacting to the development, the Governor said INEC is being used by his political enemies to stop him from going to the Senate.
Okorocha said only a court has the power to annul the election in which he was declared winner.
He said “In my own case, my Certificate of Return has not been issued and I wonder why INEC will withhold my Certificate for a frivolous reason, without hearing from me. I am not a violent person and those who know me know that. This is why we have peace in Imo State.
“The Returning Officer could not have done that under duress under the watchful eyes of the Police, DSS and party agents. I am not unmindful of the facts that those who are fighting me from Abuja are anxious to see me removed as a Senator. I urge INEC to do the right thing immediately by releasing my Certificate.
“Let me tell every Nigerian that I fought no one and no one should fight me. If anyone fights me, he will be the loser at the end of it all. My INEC Certificate cannot be touched or seized, doing so is belittling democracy in Nigeria. It is only the Tribunal that has the right to say otherwise once a result is declared. INEC cannot seize my Certificate by mere petition written by somebody in a case I was not given the opportunity to present my own side of the story.”
Okorocha’s son-in-law, Uche Nwosu also lost the Imo governorship election which held on Saturday, March 9, 2019.