FORMER Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha has described the Nigerian judiciary as the Daniel that has always comes out of the lion’s den after federal high court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) to issue h9m with a certificate of return.
Following the February 29 National Assembly elections, Governor Okorocha was declared the winner of the Imo West Senatorial District, with 97,762 votes, beating his closest rival Jones Onyereri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who got 68,117 votes. However, the returning officer Professor Francis Ibeawuchi, later revealed that he announced the results under duress as he was abducted and held until he pronounced the governor the winner.
As a result of this revelation, Inec decided to withhold Governor Okorocha’s certificate of return. He however, filed a suit at the federal high court and won the case, with Inec saying that as a law abiding institution it will obey all court order.
A delighted Governor Okorocha said that whatever happened concerning his certificate of return was in the plan of God, so that the nation’s democracy can further be strengthened and the rights of the citizenry also protected. He added that he has also forgiven Professor Ibeabuchi who claimed that he declared him winner under duress and all those who had played one role or the other to cause the ordeal he went through.
He added: “The judiciary has shown that it is the last hope of the common man. The landmark judgment has shown that no matter how hard you try to suppress the truth, justice will always prevail.”
Inec spokesman Festus Okoye, said: “However, 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 officers under duress, procure a favourable declaration and be rewarded with a certificate of return. 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 District election. ”