The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has categorically stated that it will not issue Certificate of Return to the Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, for forcing the Electoral Officer to declare him winner of the Imo West senatorial district under duress.
However, former governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor-Kalu is among the 100 elected senators cleared by the electoral umpire to be issued Certificate of Return in an event scheduled for Thursday this week at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Conspicuously occupying the number one position, Kalu is among the two elected senators from Abia State. INEC, while clearing the duo for the exercise, noted that supplementary election would decide the fate of the Abia South senatorial candidate.
Denying Governor Okorocha the privilege of getting the Certificate of Return to represent Imo West senatorial district, INEC in its official website, simply noted; “DECLARATION MADE
UNDER DURESS,” just as it added that Imo North senatorial candidate would be decided through supplementary poll.
The statement issued by the commission, titled “Presentation of Certificate of Return,” and signed by Secretary to the Commission, Rose Orianran-Anthony, reads: “INEC will on Thursday March 14, 2019 present Certificates of Return to all successful candidates in the 2019 National Assembly elections held on February 23, 2019.
“The presentation will take place at the Main Hall (Africa Hall), International Conference Centre, Abuja, at 10 am (senators-elect), 2 pm (members of the House of Representatives-elect)
“All senators-elect, members of the House of Representatives-elect and their guests are expected to be seated at 9.30am and 1.30pm respectively. All National Assembly members-elect are required to come along with photo identification, such as Permanent Voter’s Card, Nigerian Driver’s License, National Identity Card or International Passport.
“Each member-elect is entitled to be accompanied by a maximum of five guests only. The National Chairman and National Secretary of political parties that sponsored members-elect are also invited.”
Referring specifically to Governor Okorocha, the statement from the commission in a footnote said: “Only members-elect as listed on the commission’s website (www.inecnigeria.org) are invited to the ceremony.
“Journalists, foreign and domestic observers accredited to the National Collation Centre are also invited but must come along with their accreditation tags. Official video and still photographers shall be available. No personal photographers will be allowed into the hall.
“Parking has been reserved for members-elect and their guests at the Peace Park beside the Abuja International Conference Centre (Zone B) and the Old Parade Ground (Zone C).”