Justice Okon Abang of a Federal high Court in Abuja, has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue the certificate of return to the former governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, as Senator-elect representing Orlu Imo west Senatorial district of the state.
Okay.ng understands that the Judge also declared that having been declared winner with a a total of 97,792 votes by the returning officer, Okorocha remains Senator-elect for Imo West Senatorial district.
He also explained that as soon as the returning officer declared the plaintiff winner, INEC, under section 68(c) of the electoral act, became functus officio and to has no lawful authority to withhold the certificate of return.
The court then dismissed the preliminary objections of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendant, challenging the jurisdiction of the court, because it is a post election matter.
The court held It is not all post election dispute that the tribunal will have jurisdiction to entertain, where the dispute can not be founded under section 138 of the electoral act, the Federal high court has jurisdiction to entertain the suit.