Indications emerged on Saturday that the embattled governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has perfected plans to bribe some top officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with N1 billion to issue him a Certificate of Return.
He was said to have been declared winner of the Imo West Senatorial District election which held on February 23, 2019 under duress.
Sources at the Imo Governor’s Lodge at Asokoro, Abuja revealed that Okorocha relocated to Abuja a few days ago to lobby for the issuance of the Certificate of Return.
But the top hierarchy of INEC is not willing to give in, as sources told close confidants that he was facing the greatest humiliation of his life and the only option left for him was mobilize state funds to buy his way through to get the certificate.
In the plot, the governor is quoted to have said that he would use monetary inducements to penetrate two National Commissioners and some Directors in INEC to swing the table in his favour anytime the issue of his certificate of return is tabled for discussion.
It was gathered that the officials at INEC who are willing to compromise have advised Okorocha to immediately rush to court and obtain an order compelling INEC to issue him the certificate to guide against poor public perception.
The source revealed that the governor in the last few days has been very sober and that there were heightened nocturnal meetings at the Governor’s Lodge to perfect plans on how to seamlessly penetrate the INEC officials without a backlash.
“Governor Okorocha intends to dole out about N1 billion from the state treasury for the purpose and when reminded that the INEC officials may not be swayed by any amount of money he simply said ‘I am ready to up the game if they reject the offer because I am ruined.’
“The Governor’s greatest worry now is what would become of him after the May 29, 2019 hand over date as his puppet in the Imo State Governorship Election- Uche Nwosu has been roundly defeated coupled with the level of antagonism against him by the Imo people and the Federal authorities”, the source stated.
Only a few days ago, the governor said it is unconstitutional for INEC not to issue him a certificate after he was declared winner of the Imo West Senatorial District Election which held on February 23, 2019.
He was quoted to have said that only a court has the power to annul the election in which he was declared winner.
“It is therefore a surprise that he suddenly made a volte-face and wants to use illegal means to obtain the certificate of return”, a source stated.