The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has finally issued Certificate of Return to the senator-elect for Imo North senatorial district, Benjamin Uwajimogu.
The commission had, in a statement signed by the National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, warned that it would not bow to pressure from Uwajimogu, urging him to wait until the commission’s next meeting to decide his case.
Confirming the development yesterday, Okoye told Daily Sun on phone that Uwajimogu was issued the certificate at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
“I can confirm to you that the commission has issued certificate of return to the senator-elect for Imo North senatorial district, Uwajimogu.”
Reacting after the presentation of the certificate, Uwajimogu commended the judiciary for standing by the truth, just as he expressed gratitude to the commission for obeying court order.
“It is victory for the judiciary and I commend the judiciary for standing by the truth. I also commend INEC for obeying court order. I also commend the people of my senatorial district for not taking laws into their hands in this trying time. I rededicate myself to serving Imo North better than I did in the eighth Assembly,” he noted.
Meanwhile, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Patrick Ndubueze, has said the issuance of the certificate to Uwajimogu was a temporal setback and called for calm.
In a statement by his campaign office in Abuja, yesterday, he said the error would be reversed soon.
Campaign coordinator of the candidate, Greg Owuamalam, who signed the statement on his behalf, said the judiciary will ensure that justice is served.
“We are confident that the Nigerian judiciary will not let such acts that have led us to this political imbroglio in the senatorial district to go without severe consequences as INEC has been clear from the outset that the result sheets being paraded by the temporary certificate holder are fake and forged and that there has not been any valid return made so far in the election.
“We wish to inform our people that our petition at the National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal is going on strongly and we are upbeat that the tribunal will do the needful.
“We have also filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Abuja to nullify the ruling of the Federal High Court, which ordered INEC to issue the certificate to someone who did not win the election. We shall also overcome at the Court of Appeal.
“We must commend INEC for its forthright stand so far in this matter. Despite all the shenanigans from the temporary certificate holder, the commission stood firm and insisted that its procedures were violated.
“INEC issued the certificate in obedience to court order and not because the commission was intimidated by the motley crowd that came to protest at its headquarters or the threats issued at the protest,” he said. (The Sun)