Okorocha, the Imo State governor, was declared winner of Imo West senatorial election. But, the presiding officer, Francis Ibeawuchi, however, said he was forced to make the declaration under duress.
Sequel to this, INEC removed Okorocha’s name from the elected senators’ list and said it was reviewing the situation in the district.
Okorocha, who was conspicuously absent at the INEC presentation of certificates of return to senators-elect on March 14, 2019, wondered why INEC removed his name from the list of elected senators.
He suggested that the commission might have been preparing a special event to issue him his certificate of return.
But INEC responded by saying there is no special ceremony prepared for anybody whose name did not appear on its list of successful candidates in the 2019 general elections.
At a press conference in Abuja, Festus Okoye, director information and voter education, said the commission will issue a certificate of return to Okorocha if directed by the court to do so.
When asked to comment on the matter, Okoye said the commission’s stance that it will not reward bad conduct remains the same.
“The position of the commission has not changed. The position of the commission is that we will not issue certificate of return to Governor Rochas Okorocha in relation to the senatorial election,” Okoye said.
“Since the matter is already in court, the best thing to do is not to prejudge the matter that is in court, but to allow the judicial processes to run through.
“If at the end of the day, the court gives an order that we should give him his certificate of return, of course, the commission will obey such a court order.
“If on the other hand, the court takes a different position and makes other consequential orders in relation to the conduct of the elections in Imo West, we will also comply with whatever order the court gives.
“As of today, the matter is pending in court, the best thing to do is to wait for the outcome of the judicial process.”
In a suit filed at a federal high court in Abuja, the governor asked the court to rule that INEC has no power to withhold his certificate of return and to grant an order mandating the commission to issue it to him.