By Umar Muhammad Puma
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has alleged that powerful politicians in Abuja are responsible for the decision of independent National Electoral commission (INEC) not to issue him certificate of return, despite winning the election.
INEC has refused to give a certificate of return to Okorocha as Senator elect, alleging that the governor forcefully asked the resident returning officer of the state to declare him winner of the Imo West senatorial election.
Addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, Okorocha denied forcing the INEC returning officer to declare him under duress, describing the allegation as an insult to him.
“The returning officer could not have declared result under duress, and under the watchful eyes of the police, the Department State Security (DSS), other security agencies and party agents.
He alleged that credible information available to him have shown that powerful politicians in Abuja are using INEC to delay his presentation of certificate until all principal officers of national assembly were elected, and that
“I think it is script the resident electoral commissioner is playing, my election was so peaceful, free and fair, all what is happening now is a script carefully planned in Abuja.
“I’m here because INEC has remove my name from the list. I’m waiting to hear from them why my name was not there. I know once you win election you are entitled to the certificate, INEC cannot seize my certificate because of a mere petition writting by someone and I was not giving the opportunity to present my own side of the story.
On why his prepared governorship candidate lost the election to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Emeka Ehedioha, Okorocha said Ehedioha never wins the election, as according to him the PDP candidate won only in 3 local government and has not gotten the required 25 percent that is expected for a candidate to win in each local government.
“Despite winning only in 3 local government, the returning officer went ahead and declared him winner, without meating the necessary requirements of the law.