The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday denied certificates of return to four House of Assembly members- elect in Delta State over pending court matters.

However, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and his Deputy Kingsley Otuaro along with 24 other members-elect were given certificates of return.

National Commissioner in charge of Delta State, Dr Mohammed Lecky, confirmed the development while presenting certificates of return to successful candidates.

He said the four members-elect were denied certificate following court actions.

He listed the affected members-elect as Anidi Emosivwe Ethiope East (APC); Oniyere Whomrouho, Ughelli North1 (APC); Egbo Jaro Movudu Ughelli North 2 (APC) and Ochor Christopher, Ukwuani (PDP).

However, Deputy Speaker, Friday Osanebi representing Ndokwa East Constituency, was conspicuously absent at the presentation ceremony.

It is unclear why Friday Osanebi was absent during the presentation of certificate of return.

Lecky, in a brief remark, congratulated Okowa and other candidates for their victory at the polls.

He said the presentation ceremony was the highpoint of one of the legal requirements on the journey to assumption of office after being returned as elected.

Lecky said section 75 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) provides for issuance of certificate of return to candidates, adding the commission has complied with the requirements of the law.

Okowa praised Deltans for the matured manner they conducted themselves during and after the election which he claimed was “adjudged the most peaceful”.

He however regretted the death of four persons, adding that three died during the Presidential elections while one died during the gubernatorial election.

He said his victory will spur him to do more in the next four years.

According to him: “I believe Nigeria can be great if all stakeholders remain committed. All Deltans should be ready to work and shun all negative vices in my determination to take Delta to the next level.

“The next four years we will do more than we did in these last four years.