The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has replied to popular Nigerian singer, Davido over the time frame for the issuance of a Certificate of Return.
In some other news, it was reported that Davido had queried the electoral body why it had not presented his uncle with the certificate of return, 48 hours after he was declared the winner of the Osun governorship election.
The nephew to the Osun Governor-elect asked INEC if it needed money for fuel to get to the state to present the certificate of return to the governor-elect.
In a statement on Tuesday by the INEC spokesman, Festus Okoye said the law does not mandate the Commission to issue a certificate to the winner of any election within 48 hours.
Okoye disclosed the electoral agency has up to 14 days to issue the winner with the certificate, stating the Commission is a creation of the Constitution.
He added that the Supervising National Commissioner whose responsibility it is to present the certificate is still in Osun waiting for the arrival of the certificate.
Okoye, however, berated Davido for insinuating that the Commission does not want to issue his uncle the certificate.
The statement reads: “Those that intervene and play roles in the electoral process should try to have basic knowledge of the constitutive legal instruments that guide and regulate the conduct of elections.
The Commission is a public trust and a creation of the Constitution and the law and must be seen to respond to public demands for transparency and openness.
The Commission will continue to uphold the basic tenets of transparency, openness and inclusivity in the conduct of elections and the delivery of electoral services.
The Commission is not a political party and will not be swayed by partisan political interests. Section 72 of the Electoral Act 2022 provides that a sealed certificate of return at an election in the prescribed form shall be issued within 14 days to every candidate who has been returned by the Returning Officer in an election under the Act.
The Commission conducted the Osun Governorship Election on the 18th day of July 2022 and the Returning Officer made a declaration and a return on Sunday the 19th day of July 2022. The majority of the staff of the Commission that supervised the election are just returning to Abuja.
The Supervising National Commissioner whose responsibility it is to present the certificate of Return is still in Osun waiting for the arrival of the certificate.
The Commission made the Declaration and the Return and it is uncharitable to insinuate that the Commission does not want to issue the winner of the election with a Certificate of Return.
There is no law in place that mandates the Commission to issue a certificate to any candidate within 48 hours. Those that influence public opinion, especially in the electoral process should try to arm themselves with basic knowledge of the law and the processes and procedures of the Commission”.