A Federal High Court in Abuja has requested the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue Certificate or Return to the previous Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha. Judge Okon Abang on Friday decided that having been pronounced by the Returning Officer as the victor of the February 23 senatorial decision for Imo West Senatorial District (Orlu Zone), INEC has no reason not to issue him Certificate of return.
Equity Abang overruled the accommodation by candidate of the PDP, Jones Onyeriri and APGA, Osita Izunaso that the issue should be taken to the Election petitions tribunal since it has turned into a post-race matter which looted the court of locale under areas 285, 251(1) of the 1999 Constitution. The judge held that petitions to the Election tribunal under Section 133 of the Electoral Act ought to be made by the washouts, and not the individual pronounced victor whether under pressure or not.
“The reliefs looked for by the offended party (Okorocha) does not identify with the legitimacy of the decision to warrant him recording petitions at the Election court,” the judge said. “The council has no purview to address inquiries with regards to the legitimacy of INEC’s activity. Activity of INEC not to issue declaration of return is obscure to the Constitution and the Electoral Act.”