The running battle for the certificate of returns of the immediate past governor of Imo State, For Orlu Senatorial zone seems to be going in the the favour of the ex governor.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal high Court sitting in Abuja this morning has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to former Imo State governor. Abang
said ruled that; “election Petition Tribunal has no unlimited jurisdiction to entertain any post election dispute, recourse must be made to Federal High Court. The Election Petition Tribunal has no power to interprete the provisions of the law on the validity or proprietary of the power of INEC to withhold a certificate of return. Exclusive jurisdiction in this regard falls on the lap of Federal High Court”
Justice Abang maintained that “once a declaration is made and returns thereafter Inec becomes funtus officio and has no power under any law to withhold certificate of returns .
All preliminary objections by the defendants have been struck out by Justice Abang as lacking in merit.
Going further, justice Abang said “the 2nd to 8th defendants had no business been joined in this matter as the case was squarely between owelle and Inec moreover does not have power to make new laws and furthermore Inec has no judicial powers to make decision on who is right or wrong.
“Declaration by returning officer that owelle is duly returned and elected is sufficient and final and only tribunal and not INEC can set it aside” the court said.