INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu
Following an Abuja Federal High Court ruing by Justice Okon Abang, directing the Independent National Electoral Commission to issue a Certificate of Return to ex-Governor Rochas Okorocha as the Senator-elect for Imo West Senatorial District, the electoral umpire has pledged to “do the needful”, after a meeting of its key officers soon.
The Commission said it is also aware of and has been served with the Order of a High Court of Imo State, presided over by Hon. Justice Njemanze, directing the Commission not to issue a Certificate of Return to any of the candidates that contested the Imo West Senatorial District election.
The Order from the High Court of Imo State was issued on 23rd May 2019 and the suit has been further adjourned to 26thJune 2019.
Though it also said the Federal High Court, Abuja is the latest in time, it however stated that it “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, “ said Mr Festus Okoye,
National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, in a statement on Friday.
“As a law-abiding institution, the Commission will continue to obey judgments of all courts of competent jurisdiction.
“However, the Commission’s overriding consideration is the safety of its ad-hoc staff, Electoral Officers and Collation/Returning Officers and 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,” he concluded