An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue the Certificate of Return to former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, who won the March 9th election for the Imo West Senatorial district.
INEC had withdrawn the Certificate of Return after its resident officer for the election, alleged he made the announcement of Okorocha winning the election under duress.
Delivering judgement in an appeal filed by Okorocha at the court, Justice Okon Abang this morning, said INEC lacks constitutional jurisdiction to withhold a Certificate of Return. According to Justice Abang, any person declared a winner in an election by the returning officer, remains the winner until petitioners succeed in upturning the declaration at the election tribunal.
He added that it is only the Federal high court that had exclusive jurisdiction to rule in such a matter.
Okorocha left office on May 27th. In his valedictory speech, Okorocha accused some members of his party of working to make him politically redundant. He alleged that the refusal of INEC to issue him his Certificate of Return, was politically motivated.
INEC is yet to react to this judgement.