The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Thursday, presented certificates of return to three Imo House of Assembly members-elect.
The certificate presentation was sequel to the April 15 supplementary polls conducted in three local government areas where elections were earlier declared inconclusive.
The assembly members-elect are: Mr Nkem Otuibe (Ahiazu Mbaise-APC), Chief Vitalis Azodo (Ideato South-Accord) and Mr Modestus Osakwe (Isu-PDP).
Presenting the certificates to the trio, the Resident Electoral Commissioner for Imo, Prof. Sylvia Agu, congratulated them, noting that their victory was by the grace of God.
“For us in INEC, today’s occasion marks the end of a phase in our electoral cycle,” Agu stated.
According to her, the presentation of the certificates to the winners within 14 days is in compliance with the provisions of Section 72 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
Agu expressed the commission’s appreciation to all the stakeholders saddled with the conduct of the 2023 general elections for their unrelenting support before, during and after the polls.
Responding on behalf of the elected members, Otuibe commended the REC for encouraging free and fair elections in the state.
“I want to thank you all. It is a day of joy for us and secondly, I want to say God knows why He brought you here because you have shown capacity and strength.
“You have shown that you don’t belong to any party but to all.
“Thank you for ensuring that the electorate exercised their rights of choice,” Otuibe, who was re-elected for a second term, said.
In an interview, one of the elected members, Osakwe, of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a first timer, expressed delight with the issuance of certificates.
Osakwe urged INEC to remain independent in future elections to ensure that only the right people were elected into offices.
“The electoral laws are there to guide every step all the way. If followed to the letter, there won’t be too much rancour,” he said.
Similarly, Azodo, of Accord, said “let us follow the laws, particularly in the area of uploading of results to the IReV portal.
“This will ensure that only popular candidates are elected,” Azodo, another first timer, said.
He reiterated his promise to provide quality, effective and efficient representation to the people of Ideato South State Constituency.