By Ezeocha Nzeh
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has finally issued the immediate governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha, a certificate of return as the senator-elect for Imo West senatorial district.
Okorocha, who was handed over his Certificate of Return by INEC at about 6.40pm, shortly after the inauguration of the 9th Assembly, on Tuesday, told journalists that the commission had officially invited and told him that the certificate was ready.
“I take it to be God’s time and I have always believed that justice delayed is denied. But all the same, for the sake of our nascent democracy, I accept this certificate and I want to thank the judiciary for doing the needful,” he said
Okorocha’s certificate of return came few hours after the 9th Assembly leadership was formed with Ahmed lawan and Ovie Omo-Agege emerging as Senate president and Deputy, respectively.
An Abuja Federal High court, presided over by Justice Okon Abang, had declared that INEC, should issue Okorocha his certificate of return.
The election of the Imo State former governor was trailed with several court action, that followed the pronouncement by the INEC Returning Officer for the Imo West Senatorial election, Professor Innocent Ibeawuchi, who alleged that he declared Okorocha, winner of the election under “duress and at gunpoint.”
In reaction to the officer’s allegation, INEC struck out Okorocha’s name from official senators-elect list, and declined to release his Certificate of Return, pending the determination of the Court actions