Certificate of Return: INEC to meet over Okorocha, Imo West Senatorial District court order
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that it will meet as soon as practicable to do the needful over court directive on the issuance of Certificate of Return for Imo West Senatorial District election.
Mr Festus Okoye, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, disclosed this in a statement he issued on Friday in Abuja.
Okoye said that the commission’s attention had been drawn to the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, presided over by Justice Okon Abang.
Abang, in the judgment, directed the Commission to issue a Certificate of Return to Rochas Okorocha, former Governor of Imo, as the Senator-elect for the Imo West Senatorial District.
Okoye said that the Commission was also aware of and has been served with the Order of a High Court of Imo State.
He said that the court presided over by Justice Njemanze, directed the Commission not to issue a Certificate of Return to any of the candidates that contested the election.
The Order from the High Court of Imo State was issued on May 23, 2019 and the suit has been further adjourned to June 26, 2019.
The Commission is aware that the judgment delivered by the Federal High Court, Abuja is the latest in time and determined the rights of the parties in relation to the subject matter of the Certificate of Return, in respect of the Imo West Senatorial Election.
“The Commission is currently undertaking State level reviews of the 2019 general elections and all the National Commissioners are either in or heading to their States of Supervision to coordinate activities relating to the said review.
“In view of the import and directives of the said judgment, the Commission will meet as soon as practicable to do the needful.
“As a law-abiding institution, the Commission will continue to obey judgments of all courts of competent jurisdiction. ‘’
Okoye however, said that the Commission’s overriding consideration was the safety of its ad-hoc staff, Electoral Officers and Collation/Returning Officers.
“The commission is worried that if electoral impunity is allowed to flourish, any individual can harass, intimidate and put the Commission’s officers under duress, procure a favourable declaration and be rewarded with a Certificate of Return.”