Former Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of Ekiti State, Chief Nduka Eya, has said that policy inconsistency by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is fast eroding the gains made in deepening the country’s democracy.
He was reacting to INEC’s refusal to hand over a certificate of return to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, who contested the Imo West Senatorial election of February 23, 2019.
The former REC and other stakeholders, including senior lawyers, described the claim that the governor was declared winner of the poll under duress as a serious allegation.
Asserting that the matter should be interrogated at a court of law, they blamed INEC for taking inconsistent positions on matters relating to electoral breaches.
Senior lawyer, Chief Goddy Uwazurike, said the question of issuing a certificate of return to Okorocha as winner of the senatorial election when there was a case of use of force and threat to life against him was unacceptable.
Uwazurike noted, however, that Okorocha has the right to challenge INEC’s decision in court, especially after he had been pronounced winner of the ballot.
“Asking INEC to issue a certificate of return to Rochas Okorocha is akin to asking a banker to honour a bank draft, which he had been told was issued under threat,” added.
Prof. RACE Achara said any return made by an INEC official in an election under duress amounts to a sham, arguing that though pronouncement of INEC in an election was not final, it could only be upturned by a court of law or tribunal.