The governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, who was declared “winner” of the Imo West Senatorial election may not get a certificate of return, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) hinted on Thursday.
INEC chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, dropped the hint in Abuja during a meeting with the inter-agency consultative committee on election security.
He said INEC will not issue certificates of return to any candidate declared winner of an election under duress.
Mr. Yakubu did not mention Okorocha by name but it was a veiled reference to his case.
Recall that Prof. Francis Ibeawuchi, the returning officer for the Imo west senatorial election, had said he declared Okorocha winner of the senatorial poll “under duress.”.
The INEC chairman said the commission will not tolerate the intimidation of its staff during Saturday’s elections.
He said, “I am confident that working together with the security agencies, we will consolidate on the largely peaceful conduct of the presidential and national assembly elections while also taking decisive steps to deal with the minority of violators intent on disrupting the conduct of peaceful elections,” he said.
“However, 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.”