A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha as the senator-elect, for Imo West senatorial district.
Justice Okon Abang on Friday nullified the decision of INEC to withhold Okorocha’s Certificate of Return stating that having been declared by the Returning Officer as the winner of the February 23 senatorial election for Imo West Senatorial District (Orlu Zone), INEC has no reason not to issue him certificate of return.
The Court ruled that the decision to deprive Mr Okorocha of the certificate falls outside the provisions of the law and was therefore a “lawless decision.”
Justice Abang overruled the submission by candidates of the PDP, Jones Onyeriri and APGA, Osita Izunaso that the matter ought to be taken to the election petitions tribunal since it has become a post-election matter which robbed the court of jurisdiction under sections 285, 251(1) of the 1999 Constitution.
The judge held that petitions to the election tribunal under Section 133 of the Electoral Act should be made by the losers, and not the person declared winner whether under duress or not.