Governor Rochas Okorochas seems to be in a deep dilemma following his win as the Senator-Elect for Imo state in the 2019 National Assembly election.
Okorocha, who contested under the All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared the winner of the Imo West (Orlu Zone) Senatorial District by the returning officer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the senatorial election.
However, the governor’s dilemma began when the returning officer after the declaration stated that he announced a winner for the election under duress because his life was under threat.
INEC refused to issue Okorocha his Certificate of Return after the INEC returning officer had alleged that he was forced to declare the governor winner of the senatorial poll, under duress.
Against this backdrop, Okorocha had filed a suit compelling the electoral umpire to issue him Certificate of Return.
Okorocha, in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/296/2019, maintained that INEC lacked statutory powers to withhold his Certificate of Return.
The governor urged the court to declare that INEC acted in error by refusing to recognise him, even after the returning officer had declared him winner.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo was presiding over Okorocha’s suit seeking to compel INEC to issue him a Certificate of Return as the Senator-elect for Imo West Senatorial District.
As the court resumed proceedings today, the Federal High Court judge presiding over the case between Okorocha and INEC removed himself from the matter.
Justice Taiwo informed all parties involved that he would no longer entertain the case due to a petition that was written against him by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the disputed Imo West Senatorial election, Mr. Jones Onyereri.
The judge told the court that he would transfer the case file back to the Chief Judge for re-assignment to another judge.
In a new development, Okorocha will be handing over to the opposition party, the PDP, in the state after he leaves the office on May 29.
INEC declared Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP as the winner of the March 9 gubernatorial election while Okorocha’s in-law, Uche Nwosu, who contested under the Action Alliance (AA), was the first runner up in the election.
The candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) came third in the election while Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was the fourth.
Okorocha is currently on suspension from the APC having been found guilty of engaging in anti-party activities.
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