- A high court sitting in Imo state ordered INEC not to issue Rochas Okorocha certificate of return
- This is against the ruling of a federal high court which had ordered the electoral commission to issue Okorocha his return certificate
- Okorocha was denied access to the National Assembly complex for the inauguration of the ninth Senate as INEC is expected to announce its decision later on Tuesday, June 11
A high court sitting in Imo state has reportedly directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to issue certificate of return to Rochas Okorocha as senator-elect for Imo west senatorial district.
According to The Cable, the presiding judge, Ngozi Ukoha, restrained INEC from “departing from its decision not to issue a certificate of return in respect of Imo west senatorial district election.”
The newspaper reports that it has a copy of the judgement dated Tuesday, June 11.
Ukoha gave the order while ruling on an application filed by Osita Izunaso of the All Progressives Grand Alliances (APGA), pending the determination of the motion on notice challenging the victory of Okorocha who is of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The latest court order is the third on the issue, coming after that of the federal high court and a May 23 order from the high court of Imo directing INEC not to issue a certificate of return to any of the candidates in the election.
Recall that the electoral commission had refused to issue the certificate to Okorocha who was declared winner of the poll after the returning officer reported that he declared the former Imo state governor winner under duress.
However, a Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, June 7, ordered INEC to issue a certificate of return to Okorocha.
The court, presided over by Justice Okon Abang ruled that the resolve to withhold Okorocha's certificate is not supported by the provisions of the law and as such is a “lawless decision.”
Justice Abang in his verdict further said that only INEC's returning officer has the constitutional backing to declare a winner, adding that any candidate proclaimed will retain his or her victory until petitioners succeed in changing the decision through proceedings at the election tribunal.
Consequently, INEC said it would meet to consider the the order of the federal high court which asked it to issue the certificate to Okorocha.
INEC is reportedly expected to announce its decision on the matter later on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that Okorocha was denied accreditation when he arrived the National Assembly Complex for the inauguration of the ninth Senate.
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