Hundreds of protesters led by the All Progressives Congress (APC) South East Youth Caucus on Wednesday, staged a protest at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) headquarters to demand the release of Certificate of Return of Imo state Governor, Rochas Okorocha.
Olisaemeka Onyeka, APC South East Zonal Youth Leader and five other youth leaders said the INEC had no right to hold Okorocha’s certificate of return.
“We are writing this letter to protest the decision of INEC to withhold the certificate of return of the Executive Governor of Imo State His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha winner of the Imo North Senatorial District.
“At the concluded National Assembly, the returning officer had declared Governor Okorocha winner of Imo North Senatorial District as decided by the electorate during the February 23rd election which was concluded with supplementary elections on March 9th.
‘’It however, came as a surprise when same commission alleged that the announcement was made under duress,’’ he said.
Onyeka said the returning officer announced Governor Okorocha winner of the National Assembly election in the presence of all security agencies, print and traditional media and INEC’S spokesperson who was also at the venue with his camera and took recordings of all events.
‘’We again remind the INEC that once declaration was made by an election returning officer, the commission has no right to withhold the winner’s certificate of return,’’ he said.
Reacting to the protesters, INEC assistant director, Mr Kelechi Madumene commended the protesters for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner.
He said that Okorocha’s issue is in court and therefore it may lead to subjudice to comment on the matter that is before the court of law.
He, however, assured them that the commission will do the right thing within the dictates of the law.