The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been ordered to present a certificate of return to the immediate past Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha.
A Federal High Court in Abuja presided by Justice Okon Abang ruled on Friday that INEC’s decision to withhold Okorocha’s certificate falls outside the provisions of the law and was therefore a “lawless decision.”
INEC had refused to issue a certificate of return to Okorocha after the returning officer for Imo West senatorial election claimed that Okorocha was declared winner under duress.
Mr Abang, however, said that any person declared a winner by the returning officer remains winner until petitioners succeed in upturning the declaration at the election tribunal.
The court also ruled that Okorocha had no business being the originator of the petition at the election tribunal.
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.”