By Bukola Olasanmi
The Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, on Thursday, has ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to issue certificate of return to Sen. Benjamin Uwajumogu as the validly elected senator representing Imo North senatorial District.
In the application filed by Uwajumogu, for the release of his certificate of return, Justice Taiwo Taiwo said INEC’s decision to review the outcome of the 2019 senatorial election was in contravention of the electoral Act.
The court further held that INEC was bound by law to issue the certificate of return based on the declaration of the returning who announced Uwajumogu as the duly elected senator for Imo North Senatorial district.
Counsel to Mr Uwajumogu applauded the verdict of the court, adding that INEC should implement the order immediately.
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“Based on the order, the court said immediately; going by the provision of the electoral act, it ought to be within seven days of the declaration of the result. But for the attitude of INEC, now the court has said the order should be implemented immediately.
“It is another opportunity for us to be happy again that the Judiciary is standing to what they are called to do in our democracy, this is the last hope of the common man, and they have again decided the position of the law as it ought to be.
“We are happy about it and we believe our opponent will be happy about it because it is about the development of our law,”
The court had on April 9, 20l9, ordered INEC to stay all further proceedings and actions connected with the declaration of Imo North Senatorial District election results of Feb. 23 and March 9, 2019, pending the determination of the application for prohibition.
INEC had conducted an investigation into allegations of misconduct that played out in the election.