Okorocha drags INEC to court for withholding certificate of return

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Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue to him a certificate of return as the senator-elect for the Imo West Senatorial District.

INEC had refused to issue him the certificate of return, citing claims by the Returning Officer for the February 23 election Prof. Francis Ibeawuchi, that he announced the governor as winner of the senatorial election under duress.

In the suit filed on his behalf by his lawyer, Mr Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), the plaintiff made INEC the sole defendant in the suit.

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However, by agreement of the lawyers in the case, the judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, made an order permitting the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the election, Jones Onyeriri, and that of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Senator Osita Izunaso, to be joined as the 2nd and the 3rd defendants.

Izunaso was represented by his lawyer, Nwafor Orizu; Onyeyiri was represented by Emeka Etiaba (SAN), and INEC by Mrs Wendy Kuku.

While adjourning the case till April 5, Justice Taiwo ordered the defendants to file and exchange their processes within 10 days, while the plaintiff counsel was given three days to respond to them.

The judge adjourned the matter till April 5.

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