The Imo State governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Imo West Senatorial District in the 2019 elections, Rochas Okorocha, says the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lacks the power to either withhold his certificate of return or reverse his election after being declared winner.
The governor said this in a petition addressed to INEC Chairman Professor Mahmood Yakubu on Tuesday.
He said going by the laws governing elections Nigeria, since the election had been concluded and a winner announced, the commission had no right not to issue him a certificate of return.
Okorocha argued that if there were issues with the election after the announcement of a winner, recourse ought to be made to election tribunals.
He quoted Section 285 (1) of the 1999 Constitution which states that “There shall be established for the Federation one or more elections tribunal to be known as the National Assembly Elections Tribunal which shall, to the exclusion of any court or tribunal, have original jurisdiction to hear and determine petitions as to whether (a) any person has been validly elected as a member of the national Assembly.”
Okorocha also cited Section 133 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) which stipulates that “No election and return at an election under this Act shall be questioned in a manner other than by a petition complaining of an undue election or an undue return presented to the competent tribunal or court in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution or of this Act, and in which the person elected or returned is joined as a party.”