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Imo West: INEC To Meet As Okorocha Forgives Political Foes



The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC is to meet urgently to review Friday’s judgment ordering it to issue a Certificate of Return to the immediate past governor of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha as winner of the Imo West Senate election.

The meeting is upon what it said were its reservations concerning the order as it claimed that Okorocha was announced as winner of the election by the returning officer under coercion.

Meanwhile, in his reaction to the judgment, Okorocha said that he has forgiven the returning officer of the election, Professor Innocent Ibeabuchi who the former governor said falsely accused him of compelling him, Okorocha to be returned as the winner of the election under duress.

A statement issued by INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman,

Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye revealed that the commission was set to meet to consider the judgment.

“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.”

The statement nevertheless acknowledged the existence of another court order issued by Justice Njemanze to the effect that the Commission should not 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 23rdMay 2019 and the suit has been further adjourned to 26thJune 2019. 

“The Commission is aware that the judgement delivered by the Federal High Court, Abuja is the latest in time and determined the rights of the parties in relation to the subject matter of the Certificate of Return, in respect of the Imo West Senatorial Election.”

“In view of the import and directives of the said judgement, the Commission will meet as soon as practicable to do the needful.

“As a law-abiding institution, the Commission will continue to obey judgements of all courts of competent jurisdiction”, INEC added.

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