Certificate of Return: Gov Okorocha's suit runs into hitch as Judge disqualify self — Daily Times Nigeria Press "Enter" to skip to content

Certificate of Return: Gov Okorocha’s suit runs into hitch as Judge disqualify self

Andrew Orolua, Abuja

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday hands off the suit filed by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State seeking to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue him with Certificate of Return.

Okorocha had filed the suit against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after the commission withheld his Certificate of Return on the ground that he allegedly forced the returning officer to announce him winner under duress.

The matter which was slated for hearing yesterday with the hope that the court could deliver judgment before the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly, thus allowing the plaintiff participate in the inaugural process became uncertain yesterday as

the trial court judge Justice Taiwo Taiwo announced his withdrawal from hearing the suit.

He did not give any reason for the action, but added that the case file has been transferred to the Chief Judge for re – assignment.

The Daily Times however learnt that the judge withdrawal from the case was not unconnected with the application filed by candidate of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) in the Imo West Senatorial election, Jones Onyeriri, requesting the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to transfer the suit to another judge, noting that he had lost confidence in the ability of the trial judge to hold the scale of Justice in the matter.

Onyeriri alleged that in the course of proceedings, the judge made utterances which clearly showed that he had taken sides in the matter.

Okorocha,in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/296/2019, had prayed the court for an  order directing INEC to issue him Certificate of Return, bur six other interested parties applied and were joined as co-defendants.

Besides INEC, other defendants are Hon. Jones Onyeriri of the PDP, Senator Osita Izunaso of APGA, Mr. Nwachukwu Clement of KOWA Party, Precious Nwadike of United Progressive Party, UPP, Dr. Uche Ibeh of Labour Party, and the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.

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Police arrest 2 alleged abductors of Lagos Fire Service Director

Chioma Joseph, Lagos

The police command in Lagos State says it has arrested two suspects who were part of the gang that allegedly abducted the Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Mr. Raski Musibau and six others on Saturday along Itokin-Epe Road.

The spokesman for the command, DSP Bala Elkana, confirmed the arrest in a statement on Wednesday.

He said the two suspects, Blessing Bayo, 29, and Smart Alfred, 32, who are both from Ondo State were arrested in Ibafun, a boundary town with Ogun.

According to Elkana, the arrest was made possible following a sustained and well-coordinated operation by the command’s tactical teams led by the Officer in Charge of Anti-Kidnapping Unit, SP Bulus Musa.

“Two members of the kidnapping gang that abducted the Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaki Musibau and six others on Saturday at about 8.pm have been arrested.

“The suspects namely, Blessing Bayo, 29, and Smart Alfred, 32, all of Arogbo, Ondo State were arrested on Wednesday at about 5.30am at Ibafun along Ikorodu- Ijebu Ode Express Way, a boundary community with Ogun State.

“They all confessed to the commission of the crime. Two single-barrel guns were recovered from them.

“Investigation is ongoing and efforts are on to arrest other fleeing members of the gang,” he said.

The director regained his freedom on Tuesday night at about 8pm after spending more than 48 hours in the hands of the abductors.