He may have forgiven the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), but former Imo Governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, will have to wait for his court-ordered Certificate of Return to be handed to him by the commission, because the commissioners to meet to take a decision are busy elsewhere.
The commission is also reviewing the Justice Okon Abang court ruling that ordered it to give the Certificate to Okorocha. This is because another court of co-ordinate jurisdiction in Owerri had earlier ordered that the certificate for Imo West Senatorial District be withheld.
INEC, had shortly after the senatorial election, in which Okorocha was declared winner by the returning officer, Professor Innocent Ibeabuchi, withheld the certificate. Professor Ibeabuchi had said then that he was made to declare the results under duress by political thugs alleged to be loyal to Okorocha.
But on Friday, Justice Abang ordered INEC to release the certificate to Okorocha and ordered that he be paid N900,000 by the commission and others.
Okorocha, after the court order said he had forgiven Ibeabuchi.
In a statement on Friday by INEC’s National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, said the Commission is currently undertaking State level reviews of the 2019 general elections and all the National Commissioners are either in or heading to their States of Supervision to coordinate activities relating to the said review.
He added: “In view of the import and directives of the said judgement, the Commission will meet as soon as practicable to do the needful.
“As a law-abiding institution, the Commission will continue to obey judgements of all courts of competent jurisdiction.
“However, the Commission’s overriding consideration is the safety of its ad-hoc staff, Electoral Officers and Collation/Returning Officers and is worried that if electoral impunity is allowed to flourish, any individual can harass, intimidate and put the Commission’s officers under duress, procure a favourable declaration and be rewarded with a Certificate of Return”.