Okorocha waits for INEC for certificate of return, forgives returning officer

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Rochas Okorocha

FORMER Governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha might finally be on his way to the Senate after a Federal High Court Abuja ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue him a Certificate of Return. 

Justice Okon Abang on Friday described a lawless and a nullity the decision by INEC not to issue Okorocha the certificate after the returning officer for Imo West senatorial election, in the 2019 elections, Prof. Innocent Ibeabuchi, declared Okorocha winner of the senatorial polls.

The commission had claimed that its decision was based on the allegation by the returning officer that he was coerced to declare Okorocha winner.

Reacting to the court’s ruling, Okorocha, in a statement signed by his media aide,  Mr Sam Onwuemeodo, said he has forgiven Ibeabuchi for his allegation. 

He thanked the court for affirming his victory.

The former governor dedicated his victory to the people of Imo West and the state in general, for their support and steadfastness as he promised to continue to play politics devoid of rancour, malice and bitterness.

In ordering INEC to immediately issue a Certificate of Return to Okorocha,Abang noted that the action of the electoral body was not backed by any known law in the country. 

He ruled that only the returning officer had the constitutional authority to declare a winner and that any person so declared winner by the returning officer remains a winner until such victory was upturned by an election tribunal  following petitioners.

The court further ruled that Okorocha had no business being the originator of the petition at the election tribunal.

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