“You won’t get a Certificate of Return” – INEC to Rochas
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has removed the name of Rochas Okorocha, governor of Imo state, from the list of senators-elect.
Recall that Gov. Okorocha had been announced as winner of the Imo west senatorial district in the February 23 election.
However, Dr. Innocent Ibeabuchi, returning officer for the election, subsequently confess he had made the declaration under duress.
Responding to the issue of widespread violence in the presidential and national assembly elections on Thursday, Mahmood Yakubu, chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), said the commission will not issue certificates of return to any candidate declared winner of an election under duress, TheCable reports.
“I am confident that working together with the security agencies, we will consolidate on the largely peaceful conduct of the presidential and national assembly elections while also taking decisive steps to deal with the minority of violators intent on disrupting the conduct of peaceful elections,” he had said during a meeting in Abuja.
“However, the commission will not tolerate the act of holding our officials hostage and forcing them to declare winners under duress. Where such occurs, the commission will not reward bad behaviour by issuing them certificates of return.”
The commission will present duly elected senators with certificates of return on Thursday.
The removal of Okorocha on the list of elected senators comes as a huge setback for the governor whose son-in-law trailed Emela Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the end of collation in all the 27 local government areas of the state.
Uche Nwosu, Okorcha’s candidate contested the governorship election under the platform of Action Alliance after losing the ticket of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).