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Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Gov. Okorocha sneaks into Abuja court over his certificate of return, shuns journalists

Gov. Okorocha sneaks into Abuja court over his certificate of return, shuns journalists

Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha on Tuesday evening sneaked to the Abuja division of the Federal High Court to ask for his certificate of return as the senator-elect for Imo West senatorial district.

The Governor, accompanied by some of his aide and lawyers drove into the court premises in a convoy after 4pm.

He walked straight into some offices of the court. After about 30 minutes, he walked out of the court but refused to speak with journalists who lay in wait for him outside the court premises.

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The governor in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/296/2019, filed by his counsel, Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN) is seeking the court order compelling the INEC to issue him a certificate of return as the validly-elected senator for Imo West senatorial district.

Hearing in the suit has, however, suffered several setbacks following some legal gymnastics introduced by some interested parties to the suit.

The setbacks reached a climax when Justice Taiwo. O. Taiwo who was assigned to adjudicate on the case withdrew from the matter over allegations of bias made against him by the candidates of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the February 23 National Assembly election, Jones Onyeriri, and that of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA); Senator Osita Izunaso.

The case has been assigned to another Judge of the court, Justice Okon Abang, who has already adjourned it to May 8, 2019, at the instance of the plaintiff.

Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, Mrs Wendy Kuku, N. A. Nnwuchi (SAN) for Jones Onyeriri; Prince Orji Nwafor-Orizu for Senator Osita Izunaso and other parties to the suit did not object to the request for adjournment.

Justice Abang ruled that “since there is no objection, I am inclined to adjourn this matter at the instance of the plaintiff for hearing of the application for joinder.“

Earlier, the PDP had in a motion filed by its counsel, S.C. Imo prayed the court for an order extending the time within which it may apply to be joined in the suit.

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