Barring last minute change, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC may not issue certificate of return to Rochas Okorocha, Senator- elect for Imo West Senatorial district of Imo State.
This is as Okorocha name is missing on the list of Senators-elect to be issued certificate of return by INEC on Thursday published on the Commission’s website Monday evening.
This is not unconnected with the report by Innocent Ibeabuchi, Returning Officer for the Imo West Senatorial election that, he was forced to declare the outgoing Imo state governor winner of the election while INEC indicted “declaration under duress” for the blank space for Imo West.
Ibeabuchi had said he was “held up at the centre by supporters of Mr Okorocha”, who insisted he must complete the announcement.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman last Friday vowed that the Commission will not issue certificate of return to candidates whom poll officials announced their results under duress.
Yakubu stressed that, “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”
Meanwhile, INEC will on Thursday 14th March 2019 present Certificates of Return to all successful candidates in the 2019 National Assembly Elections held on 23rd February 2019.
Rose Orianran-Anthony in a statement obtained by BusinessDay said, “the presentation will take place as follows: Venue: Main Hall (Africa Hall), International Conference Centre, Abuja. Time: 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 by 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 (5) guests only. The National Chairman and National Secretary of political parties that sponsored members-elect are also invited.
“NOTE: 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).
James Kwen, Abuja