IMO WEST SENATORIAL ELECTION ISSUE STILL UNRESOLVED – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it is yet to take a decision on what to do next about the stalemate in the Imo West Senatorial District election.
The Chief Press Secretary to INEC, Mr. Rotimi Oyekami, told journalists that the Commission had not issued any candidate from the Imo West Senatorial District Certificate of Return.
The Senatorial District election was held on February 23, alongside the Presidential poll.
Of the 37 candidates that contested the Senatorial election, the major contenders were the incumbent Governor of Imo State and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Rochas Okorocha; and Mr. Jones Onyereri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP.)
Though the Returning Officer for the election, Professor Innocent Ibeawuchi, announced Governor Okorocha as winner of the election, he claimed to have made the declaration under duress.
According to the results so declared, Governor Okorocha polled 97,762 votes to beat his closest rival, Mr. Jones Onyereri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who secured 63,117 votes.
Having heard the allegation that Governor Okorocha was declared the winner of the senatorial election under duress, the leadership of INEC excluded the Governor from the list of those it gave Certificate of Return recently.
INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu had earlier said the Commission would investigate the allegation.
He insisted that the Commission would never reward bad behavior by giving certificate of Return to anyone found to have compelled its officials to announce results under duress.
However, Governor Okorocha had faulted the allegations of the Returning Officer, Professor Ibeawuchi, whom he accused of acting a script.
In the mean time, INEC has fixed Saturday, March 23, as date to conduct supplementary elections in areas where elections were declared inconclusive.