By Patrick Okohue
Following a ruling of Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja on July 4, 2019, compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately issue a Certificate of Return to the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Imo North senatorial district, Benjamin Uwajumogu, the court order has been served on the electoral umpire.
Uwajumogu had approached the court seeking for an order to compel INEC to issue him a Certificate of Return.
In the order, the court ruled “that the Independent National Electoral Commission does not have the power and right under any law in Nigeria to review or otherwise deal with any question related or connected to the declaration and return of the applicant for the Imo North Senatorial District election on the 23rd of February and 9th March 2019 after the returning officer had taken a decision.”
The court among others also ruled “that order of mandatory injunction is hereby made compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission to immediately issue the applicant, Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu, a sealed Certificate of Return for the Imo North Senatorial District.”
In his reaction to the judgement, Uwajumogu expressed satisfaction that justice had been served, but regretted that he had to miss being inaugurated alongside his colleagues owing to the legal impediments.
“I am highly elated with the declarative order compelling INEC to issue me Certificate of Return. I give glory to God.
However, I would expect INEC to swiftly comply with the order without wasting time to save me more precious time being wasted in serving the good people of Imo North in the Red Chambers.
“Already, INEC’s decision to hold on to my Certificate of Return after the Returning Officer had announced me as winner had caused me incalculable damage, but that can be remedied to a large extent if I’m issued my Certificate on Monday, July 8, 2019.”