An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has nullified the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) refusing to issue former Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, with a certificate of return as senator-elect.
In its ruling, the Court held that the decision not to issue Okorocha the certificate falls outside the provisions of the law and was, therefore, a “lawless decision.”
The presiding Judge, Justice Okon Abang, held that only the returning officer of INEC had the constitutional authority to declare a winner.
He further 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 ruled further that Mr Okorocha had no business being the originator of the petition at the election tribunal. Ruling that the federal high court had exclusive jurisdiction to decide on the matter, Justice Abang described INEC’s decision as “lawless and a complete nullity.”