Rochas Okorocha a candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), has stated that the INEC cannot withhold his return certificate.
In a petition to INEC, Okorocha said he was not happy that the body withheld his return certificate after winning the election.
In the petition titled, ‘Need to Advert Abuse of Office and Political Corruption by my Political Opponents. With the Active Collaboration of INEC’s Leadership in Clear Violation of the Law’. Was addressed by the Chairman of the commission, Prof Mahmoud Yakubu.
However, INEC claimes the declaration was made under duress.
Okorocha, said going by the laws governing elections in the country, INEC had no right not to issue him his certificate.
“Section 285(1) of the 1999 Constitution states that ‘There shall be established for the Federation one or more election tribunals to be known as the National Assembly Elections Tribunal which shall, to the exclusion of any court or tribunal, have original jurisdiction to hear and determine petitions as to whether (a) any person has been validly elected as a member of the National Assembly.’ Okorocha said
Adding, “Section 133 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides that ‘No election and return at an election under this Act shall be questioned in a manner other than by a petition complaining of an undue election or an undue return presented to the competent tribunal or court in accordance with the provisions of the constitution or of this Act, and in which the person elected or returned is joined as a party.’
“Where then did INEC derive the power to withhold a certificate of return after a winner in an election had been announced?” He asked