Independent national Electoral Commission, INEC, has said that it would not reverse the results of elections held in Akwa Ibom despite protests and calls from several quarters.
INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State, Barr Austine Okojie made the commission’s position known at the presentation of certificates of return to elected candidates of the 2015 general elections in Uyo.
Okojie maintained that those aggrieved over the results released by the commission should approach the tribunal to seek redress.
“Section 75 sub 1 of the electoral act 2010 as amended empowered the commission to issue a sealed certificate of returns of an election in a prescribed form within seven days to every candidate who won an election under this act.
“The essence of section 75 sub 1 of the electoral act 2010 as amended is to validate and give legal approval to the declaration of the candidate by the electoral umpire winner of the said election.
“Another justification for the issuance of certificate of return is to forestall a situation where two or more person will claim to be winner of the said election. The implication is that once election is conducted and the result is declared the commission becomes fonctus officio.
“This is the same spirit with section 68 sub 1c of the electoral act 2010 as amended which provided that a declaration as made if a candidate is returned by the returning officer, it is only the tribunal or court of law that can upturn the decision.
“In the light of the above, I urge all those who participated in the conduct of the election and are not satisfied with the outcome to please follow the part of honour and act in accordance with the provision of law by approaching the tribunal,” he maintained.
He however advised those who emerged victorious to be magnanimous in victory and extend a hand of fellowship to their opponents.
Presenting the certificates of return to the winners, the INEC National Commissioner, Mrs. Thelma Iremiren reminded them that there was a lot of ground to cover and expectations high.
Iremiren who is in-charge of Akwa Ibom and Cross River States said since leadership comes with a lot of responsibility they should not forget to fulfill their campaign promises.
Responding on behalf of the elected members in the state, the Governor-elect, Udom Emmanuel lauded INEC officials who worked assiduously to ensure peace and credible polls in the state.