Observer Groups Monday lampooned the Independent National Electoral Commission for withholding the Certificate of Return of Imo West senator-elect, Rochas Okorocha.
The groups noted that the electoral umpire is overstepping its bonds, adding that it lacks the powers to stop any candidate after he or she has been declared winner.
At a press Conference in Owerri, Emmanuel Azuike of the Women Fest for Better Life Living Initiative, an Independent Observer group, said that the issue of allegation of duress upon which INEC relying on to withhold the Certificate of Return can only be established by a Court of competent jurisdiction.
According to him, the allegation by the Collation Officer, Innocent Ibeawuchi, was not only outrageous but criminal
He continued that, “the Returning Officer, Ibeabuchi was not under any form of duress to announce the results whatsoever, not at gunpoint, knife point or any form of harassment.”
“All security Agencies, police, DSS, Army were there for the protection of the Returning Officer, and everybody present in the collation room.”
“For him to say he was under duress was a big lie and deceit of the highest order.”
“We hereby urge INEC to issue Rochas Okorocha his certificate of Return as senator-elect of Imo west senatorial zone or we will go to court to compel INEC to issue the Certificate of Return to the winner of the elections earlier declared.“