Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, has said INEC has no right or power to withhold his certificate of return as the senator-elect for the Imo West.
This is his latest reaction to the decision of the electoral body to seize his certificate which he sees as part of measures taken by them to ridicule him ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
He mentioned that only a court has the authority to cancel any election after a winner had been announced.
He also refuted reports that said the INEC officer announced him as the winner of the senatorial election under duress, calling such claim an insult.
His words, “My certificate of return has not been issued and I wonder why INEC will withhold my certificate for a frivolous reason, without hearing from me.
“I am not a violent person and those who know me know that. This is why we have peace in Imo State.
“The returning officer could not have done that under duress under the watchful eyes of the police, the DSS (the Department of State Services) and party agents.
“I am not unmindful of the facts that those who are fighting me from Abuja are anxious to see me removed as a senator. I urge INEC to do the right thing immediately by releasing my certificate.”
“My INEC certificate cannot be touched or seized. Doing so is belittling democracy in Nigeria.
“It is only the tribunal that has the right to say otherwise once a result is declared.
“INEC cannot seize my certificate because of a mere petition written by somebody in a case I was not given the opportunity to present my own side of the story.”