Alex Enumah in Abuja
Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately issue a sealed certificate of return to Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu, being the lawful winner of the Imo North Senatorial district election.
Uwajumogu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/395/2018 had approached the court for an order compelling INEC to issue him Certificate of Return having been announced as winner of the senatorial election by the Returning Officer.
Those sued alongside INEC are Ndubuisi Emenike, Hon. Patrick Nwabueze, Hon. Chibuike Onyirimba and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The commission had refused to issue the applicant with the certificate of return on grounds that the electoral process was marred by irregularities.
INEC explained that its decision was based on the need to ensure fairness by investigating the alleged irregularities before issuing Certificate of Return.
Delivering judgment on July 4, Justice Taiwo ordered as follows: “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 February 23, and March 9, 2019 after the returning officer had taken a decision.
“That an order is hereby made prohibiting INEC from questioning the decision of the returning officer on any question arising from or relating to the declaration and return of the applicant, Senator Benjamin uwajumogu for the Imo North Senatorial District.
“That an 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”.