Speaking to NAN in Awka, INEC National Electoral Commissioner, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, said the decision “does not amount to shifting goal post at the middle of a match.”
“Issuance of certificates of return is a statutory function of INEC, it is only issued to those who won an election and must be done through the free will of a returning officer,” he said.
“In the case of Imo West Senatorial zone where Okorocha contested, the Otu-Opi Federal Constituency in Benue, Agayi State Constituency and another in Akwa Ibom, what INEC is saying is that you can’t engage in bad electoral behaviour and expect INEC to reward you with a certificate.
“Our certificate is only for those who won freely.”
Okoye noted that INEC has the right not to issue a certificate to such persons as it would amount to abnormality.
He said INEC action is not targeted at the voters who voted people of their choice, but to address excesses of those who wanted to use unconventional means to win elections.
“Once we have such case, INEC will not issue a certificate, but ensure that the right thing is done,” he said.