INEC, Okorocha And Certificate of Return, By Harry Awurumibe

It is over 24 hours since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has handed Certificates of Return (CoR) to persons who won their elections to be at  the new National Assembly.

At the event which took place at the International Conference Center (ICC) Abuja, those whom INEC declared winners of the said elections to represent their people either in the Senate or Federal House of Representatives attended the elaborate ceremony with their spouses or family members who came to witness the collection of the Certificates of Return. 

But, conspicuously absent at the big media event was the outgoing Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha. His absence may not be unconnected with the statement pushed out by INEC prior to the event which said that only persons whose names were published in the INEC website should come for the ceremony in Abuja.

Okorocha’s name in the INEC website has a K- leg, (apologies to ex- President Olusegun Obasanjo) as INEC stated that his declaration was made under duress. This confirmed the statement of the INEC Returning Officer for Imo West in the National Assembly elections who alleged that he was forced to declare Okorocha winner of the election under a difficult situation including a threat to his life.

This allegation has been dismissed by Okorocha who has been issuing his own statements and claiming that he clearly won the Orlu senatorial zone seat and has no need to force anybody to declare him winner. He went further to threaten that INEC has no powers to withhold his Certificate of Return after he has been declared winner.

The latest situation which Okorocha has found himself at the national level coupled with the failure of his son-inlaw and candidate of Action Alliance (AA), Uche Nwosu to win the Imo State Governorship Election has left the world of the loquacious Ideato-born politician crashing faster than he could imagine before 2019 General Elections. 

Now the reality of life is kicking in as he will have to wait a little longer to see if INEC will conduct a fresh or a supplementary election in Imo West to determine who will represent the zone between him and the closest contender, Hon. Jones Onyereri of the PDP.

For the Governorship seat, INEC has since declared Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha winner of the Imo State guber race. This means that Okorocha who may have intended to continue to rule Imo State by proxy has seen his dreams evaporating like the early morning dews.

Who will rescue the self acclaimed leader of the “Rescue Mission Government” whose regime never followed Due Process nor obeyed the Rule of Law. And respite seems to be very far as the Imo Governor is under the hammer of the ruling party (APC) which had since handed him and his Ogun state counterpart, Ibikunle Amosun an indefinite suspension for an alleged “anti-party activities” which they have vehemently denied. It is indeed troubling times ahead of Gov. Okorocha. How is the mighty falling?

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