The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) on Monday asked an Abuja Federal High Court to declare the seat of Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, vacant for defecting to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
APGA wants the court to make an order directing the Deputy Governor of Imo State or Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, or any officer next in line to the position of the Governor, who is a member of the party, to be inaugurated as the governor of the state.
Moreover, the party asked the court to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to nullify the Certificate of Return issued to Okorocha and issue a certificate of return to his replacement.
Okorocha, INEC and the Imo State House of Assembly are listed as the 1st to 3rd defendants in the suit, respectively.
In the suit filed by its counsel, Victor Odjemu, APGA argued that by virtue of the provisions of section 177(c) and 221 of the 1999 Constitution and section 97 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and the effect of the Supreme Court decision in Amaechi v INEC, the Imo State governorship mandate remains with it.
APGA maintained that the said mandate should be exercised by the deputy governor of Imo State or the speaker of the state House of Assembly or any officer next in line to the Office of the Governor who is a member of the party by virtue of section 191(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution.
The party also insists that Okorocka, who was sponsored by APGA in April 2011 elections, cannot continue to occupy the office of the governor having defected from the party that won the election to the APC, as the mandate was given to the party (APGA) by the electorate of Imo State and not the APC. Thus, APGA asks the court to admit this fact.