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Why Governor-elect, Hope Uzodinma can’t be issued Certificate of Return

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it is yet to receive the Supreme Court enrolled order to issue the Certificate of Return (CoR) to Senator Hope Uzodinma as the governor-elect of Imo state.

The nation’s apex court had on Tuesday declared Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election in the state after sacking Chief Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and ordering INEC to withdraw the latter’s CoR and issued the CoR to the former.

Speaking on the matter on Wednesday in Abuja, Mr. Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said the commission is yet to receive the order for the CoR to be issued to Uzodinma.

“The commission is yet to be served with the enrolled order of the Supreme Court judgement; therefore, we cannot issue the Certificate of Return to the APC candidate yet. “However, once the Commission receives the enrolled order, the CoR will be issued,” Oyekanmi said.

The commission’s Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Mr. Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi, had on Tuesday told Daily Trust that the issuance of the certificate would be done very soon. Daily Trust however learnt from other officials who pleaded not to be named, that the commission cannot unilaterally issue the CoR to anyone by fiat or by media report.

“There are due processes to be followed, the commission would be served the court order and then progressed from there,” the official said. When asked if the certificate would be issued in INEC Headquarters in Abuja or in Owerri, Imo State, the officials said the commission would looked at some circumstances and would determine where the certificate would be issued after being served with the appropriate documents

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