Certificate of return: INEC should have sought court alternative on Okorocha case - Ex-REC

Certificate of return: INEC should have sought court alternative on Okorocha case - Ex-REC

- Nduka Eya, a former Ekiti resident electoral commissioner, has reacted to INEC's decision to withhold Governor Okorocha's return certificate

- The Ex-REC said the commission should have referred the case to court instead of taking inconsistent positions on issues bordering on electoral breache

- Also speaking, a senior lawyer, Uwazurike, described the case in which a person is declared winner under duress as unacceptable and serious

A former Ekiti state resident electoral commissioner, Nduka Eya, has blamed the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withhold Governor Rochas Okorocha's certificate of return on inconsistency on the part of the commission.

Recall that INEC withheld the Imo state governor's mandatory certificate of return based on the evidence that he was declared winner of the February 23 Imo West senatorial election under duress.

INEC's returning officer, Ibeawuchi Francis, announced Okorocha as winner after polling 97,762 votes to defeat his closest rival, Jones Onyereri of the PDP, before adding that the announcement was made under threats.

Shedding more light on the embarrassing incident, the ex-REC described the allegation against the governor as serious. He added that the commission should have referred the case to court instead of taking inconsistent positions on issues bordering on electoral breaches.

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Also reacting, a senior lawyer, Goddy Uwazurike, described the situation where a winner is declared under threats and duress as unacceptable.

He said: "Asking INEC to issue a certificate of return to Rochas Okorocha is akin to asking a banker to honour a bank draft, which he had been told was issued under threat."

He, however, posited that Okorocha has the right to challenge INEC's decision through a legal redress in court.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that for withholding his certificate of return, Governor Okorocha on Wednesday, March 20, asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the INEC to issue him with his certificate as the senator-elect for Imo West senatorial district.

According to Okorocha in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/296/2019, INEC lacked the statutory powers to withhold his certificate of return.

NAIJ.com (naija.ng) -> Legit.ng We have updated to serve you better.

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Source: Legit

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