Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it has not received the certified true copy of the Tuesday Supreme Court Judgment on Imo governorship election.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, said that INEC would comply with the judgment once it was served with the enrolled copy of the judgment.
The Supreme Court in a unanimous judgment on Tuesday removed Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo and declared Hope Uzodinma winner, directing INEC to issue him (Uzodinma) certificate of return.
A seven-man panel of the apex court in its decision held that Ihedioha did not win the majority of votes cast at the March 9, 2019 governorship elections.
Okoye said that the commission had no problem with issuing Certificate of Return in compliance with the court order, but it needed a copy of the enrolled court judgment to know clearly what it was ordered to do.
He said that the commission had the responsibility to obey the judgment of the Supreme Court as the final court of the land.
“We have no problem with issuing the certificate of return, but we cannot issue the certificate until when we see very clearly a certified copy of the judgment of Supreme Court or an enrolled order of the judgment of the court directing us clearly and unequivocally on what to do.
“The moment we see it, issuing the certificate is a mini venture, we will definitely comply. We have the constitutional responsibility to obey the judgment of the Supreme Court.
“The commission has not been served with the copy of the enrolled judgment so that the commission will know clearly and unequivocally what the Supreme Court directed us to do.
“The moment we are served with the court order we will issue the certificate immediately,” Okoye said.
In the judgment delivered by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the court accordingly ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Ihedioha and issue a fresh Certificate of Return to the candidate of the APC on grounds that he won the majority of the lawful votes cast at the election.
The court held that the lower court erred in law when it rejected evidence tendered before them to the extent that votes from 388 polling units were not credited to APC and Hope Uzodinma.
The court also ordered the immediate swearing-in of Uzodinma as the lawful winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Imo. (NAN)