Festus Okoye, Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Independent National Electoral Commissioner, says the commission will not be stampeded to issue certificate of return to the Senator-elect for Imo North Senatorial District, Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu.
Okoye, who is the INEC National Commissioner in-charge of Enugu, Anambra and Benue states, said this while briefing newsmen in Enugu on Monday.
He was reacting to the protest reportedly staged at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja by Uwajumogu and his supporters to demand the release of his certificate.
He said: “The demonstration is of no significance because we cannot rush to hand over the certificate to him.
“We must study the court judgment before we can comply. As a commission, we must obey court orders. Even if we are not satisfied, we will obey first before we appeal.
“I can recall that the commission was served the judgment of the court on Wednesday, July 16.
“The said judgment could not undergo the regular processes and procedures of the commission and must wait for the next commission meeting.
“The commission will not be stampeded into taking precipitate action or decision that may be detrimental to the electoral process and procedures.”
Okoye also said that the commission had withdrawn and re-issued 87 certificates of return so far after elections.
He said: “The commission withdrew three certificates from the APC and issued to NNPP and NRM.
“It also withdrew 45 certificates from APC and issued to the PDP (arising mostly from the Supreme Court decision on the Zamfara APC party primary election).
“The commission withdrew 39 certificates from the APC and re-issued to another APC candidates.”
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the commission set up a committee to investigate the allegations of misconduct in the senatorial election, after Uwajumogu had been declared winner.
Uwajumogu, who contested on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, however, challenged the action of INEC at a Federal High Court, Abuja.
The court granted his plea and ordered INEC to issue him the certificate but the commission had yet to comply.