Nigeria’s electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) has insisted that Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State would not be presented a certificate of return.
The commission’s National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said this on Monday.
Okoye explained that Inec took the decision because the returning officer for Imo West senatorial district election that he declared Okorocha as the winner “under duress”.
While declaring the resulted, the returning officer had said he was doing so under duress.
Although the governor insisted he won the elections fairly and that his victory was not declared under duress, his name was not on the list of those to be given a certificate of return and despite his protests against the decision, he was not given a certificate when winners got theirs last week.
The chairman of the commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who addressed a press conference on March 7, said the electoral umpire would not reward “bad behaviour” by presenting a certificate of return to anyone harassing any of their staff.
On Thursday last week, INEC presented certificates of return to those returned elected in the February 23 elections.
Asked whether the commission investigated the claim and confirmed that it was true, Okoye said “Yes”.
He added, “We’ve made it clear on why we didn’t present any certificate of return to him (Okorocha).
“If you look at our website, we said that the declaration and return were made under duress and that we are not going to give any certificate to any person for any individual that procured a return under duress.”