Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha (file)
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has insisted that there is no going back on its decision regarding the Imo West senatorial district election.
The National Commissioner, Information and Voter Education, Mr Festus Okoye, disclosed this to reporters at a briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
He noted that the commission was aware that the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who was declared as the winner of the election had gone to court because he was not presented with his certificate of return.
Okoye stressed that although the commission has always obeyed court orders, it would not issue a certificate of return to the governor.
He, however, said since the governor had taken the matter to court, INEC would await the verdict of the court to know what step to take next.
Governor Okorocha had asked the Federal High Court Abuja to compel the electoral body to issue him his certificate as the senator-elect for Imo West senatorial district.
In a suit, the governor argued that INEC lacked the statutory powers to withhold his certificate of return, stressing that he was validly elected to represent the Imo West senatorial district in the National Assembly.
He had also prayed the court to declare that the electoral body acted in error when it refused to recognise him as the winner of the election, despite the declaration by the returning officer.
On its part, INEC had insisted that it would not issue the certificate because the returning officer said he declared Governor Okorocha as the winner “under duress”.
Although the governor insisted that he won the election 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.
Despite his protests against the decision of the electoral body, he wasn’t given a certificate when winners got theirs last week.