Only court will determine Okorocha’s fate – INEC insist

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has disclosed that it would only issue Certificate of Returns to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State after a ruling on the matter pending at the federal High Court.

Governor Okorocha was the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 23 Imo West Senatorial election.

The commission withheld his certificate of returns after the Presiding Officer had declared him winner of the election.

INEC claimed the declaration was made under duress.

Okorocha is however, challenging INEC decision at the Federal High Court.

The governor, who is completing his second term in office later this month, had insisted in a petition that going by laws governing elections in the country, INEC had no right not to issue him a Certificate of Return.

The commission had recently promised to meet and deliberate on Okorocha’s latest letter and take a final decision on the issue.

But speaking in a telephone interview with BusinessDay, Monday, Festus Okoye, INEC Commissioner for information and voter education, however, revealed that such meeting had been called off.

Okoye said that since both parties were in court over the issue, the commission had decided to wait for a final judgment on the matter, stressing that the commission was however, ready to respect the decision of the court.

According to him, “There is no meeting that would be held on the issue. Okorocha has gone to the Federal High Court on the issue, and some parties have also gone to the election tribunal, so we have decided to wait for a final judgment.

“The commission will wait for the judgment of the court, we do not have powers to take decision on his Certificate of Returns, nor can we be intimidated.”

The INEC Commissioner further … Read More...

INEC to meet next week on Okorocha’s Certificate of Return 

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC has disclosed it would meet next week to take a decision on the latest letter written by incumbent Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, challenging its powers to withhold his Certificate of Return.

Okorocha was the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress in the February 23 Imo West Senatorial election.

The commission withheld his certificate of return after the Presiding Officer had declared him winner of the election. INEC claimed the declaration was made under duress.

In an interview with BusinessDay, Thursday, Festus Okoye, INEC commissioner for information and voter education, stated that though both parties were in court over the issue, the commission’s chairman would meet with commissioners to deliberate on the issue and decide on the next line of action.

“INEC chairman will meet next week with Commissioners to deliberate on the latest letter written by Okorocha and take a look at the issue again. Both parties are in court, but the INEC chairman is outside the country and most of the commissioners are on duty,” Okoye said.

The INEC Commissioner further stated that the commission was not concerned about comments attributed to the Governor on the issue, stressing that it would, however, not take any action that is outside the law.

“The case is in court but we believe what we are doing is in accordance with the law,” Okoye added.

Governor Okorocha, who is completing his second term in office later this month, had insisted recently that going by laws governing elections in the country, INEC had no power not to issue him a Certificate of Return.

He added that if there were issues with an election after the announcement of a winner, the Election Petitions Tribunal would resolve them.

According to him, … Read More...