The Executive Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, has on Wednesday said that the Independent National Electoral Commission lacked the power to withheld his certificate of return as senator-elect in Imo West.
He described the action of the electoral body’s as an efforts to make him irrelevant ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
Okorocha said, while addressing some youths who paid him a solidarity visit.
He said only a court had the power to nullify any election after a winner had been declared.
“My certificate of return has not been issued and I wonder why INEC will withhold my certificate for a frivolous reason, without hearing from me. he said.
“I am not a violent person and those who know me know that. This is why we have peace in Imo State.
“The returning officer could not have done that under duress under the watchful eyes of the police, the DSS (the Department of State Services) and party agents.
“I am not unmindful of the facts that those who are fighting me from Abuja are anxious to see me removed as a senator. I urge INEC to do the right thing immediately by releasing my certificate.”
Speaking further, “My INEC certificate cannot be touched or seized. Doing so is belittling democracy in Nigeria.
“It is only the tribunal that has the right to say otherwise once a result is declared.
“INEC cannot seize my certificate because of a mere petition written by somebody in a case I was not given the opportunity to present my own side of the story.”