The name of Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, was not on the list of newly elected senators that was published on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s website.
In the slot for the three Imo Senatorial districts, only Senator-elect Onyewuchi Ezenwa Francis (Imo East), who won on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, was listed.
For Imo West Senatorial district, whose seat Governor Okorocha contested, it was blank except for an INEC remark, which read, “Declaration made under duress.”
Imo North’s slot was also empty except for a “Supplementary” remark.
Okorocha had contested the seat on the platform of the All Progressives Congress. He was declared the winner by the Returning Officer for the Senatorial District, Innocent Ibeawuchi.
Later, Ibeawuchi said that he was made to announce Okorocha as a winner under duress. That is, he was “forced” to declare the results at the Imo West election collation centre in Orlu.
Narrating his reason for the declaration, Ibeabuchi had said he was “held up at the centre by supporters of Okorocha,” who insisted he must complete the announcement.”
The returning officer’s account might have necessitated the omission of Okorocha’s name from INEC’s list, as the commission simply explained the omission on its website as “declaration under duress.”