The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday said it is studying judgment ordering it to issue Certificate of Return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2015 Anambra Central Senatorial election, Obiora Okonkwo.
Justice John Tsoho of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court had, in a judgment delivered on a pre-election matter on December 13, declared Okonkwo as the rightfully elected candidate of the PDP in the primary election held in 2014.
Consequently, the court ordered INEC to immediately issue Obiora with the Certificate of Return being the rightful candidate for the disputed Anambra Central Senatorial election won by the PDP in 2015.
INEC’s acting director in charge of security, Richard Awolola, disclosed this yesterday, while responding to a crowd of protesters who stormed the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
While assuring them of the commission’s readiness to obey the laws of the land, Awolola said INEC was following the normal process and would get back to them once they were done. He commended the group for the orderly and peaceful manner they had conducted their protest.
The protesters, with various inscriptions, such as “INEC obey court order, release Certificate of Return to Obiara,” among others, said they were at commission’s headquarters to prevail on it to release certificate of return to Obiora so he can be sworn in by the National Assembly to represent the people of Anambra Central Senatorial District.
The Court of Appeal in Enugu had, in 2015, voided Ekwunife’s election on the grounds that she was not a product of a valid election and, thereby, declared her seat at the National Assembly vacant.
A spokesman of the protesters, Azubuike said: “We are here to appeal to INEC to issue certificate of return to Obiora, whom the court declared as the right person to represent Anambra Central at the National Assembly.
“He needs the certificate to be sworn-in as senator representing Anambra Central. We have been suffering because of lack of representation at the Senate.
“We believe INEC is a law abiding institution and they will do the right thing,” he said.
A Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered that Okonkwo be sworn in as Senator representing Anambra Central Senatorial District on the platform of the PDP.
Justice John Tsoho, who delivered the judgment in the pre-election suit filed by Obiora, ordered the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, to, forthwith, inaugurate Okonkwo to take over the Anambra Central Senatorial District seat in the Senate.