A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to issue Certificate of Return to Rochas Okorocha as the duly elected Senator representing Orlu Imo West Senatorial district of Imo State.
Justice Okon Abang ruled that the decision to deprive Okorocha of the certificate was a “lawless.”
Abang held that only the returning officer of INEC had the constitutional authority to declare a winner.
He held that any person declared a winner by the returning officer remains a winner until petitioners succeed in upturning the declaration at the election tribunal.
The court further ruled that Mr Okorocha had no business being the originator of the petition at the election tribunal.
Justice Abang, who ruled that the federal high court had exclusive jurisdiction to decide on the matter, described INEC’s decision as “lawless and a complete nullity.”
The electoral body had said it refused to give Okorocha certificate of return after the returning officer for Imo West senatorial district said he was compelled to declare Okorocha winner.