The immediate past governor of Imo State, and Senator-elect representing Imo West Senatorial District, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has laughed last.
This is because the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Tuesday evening, finally issued him his Certificate of Return
His party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, confirmed it on its twitter handle. The Senator-elect also confirmed it to journalists shortly after he received the certificate.
“At exactly 6.14 pm, this (Tuesday) evening, after the inauguration of the 9th National Assembly,” he said, “I was invited that my certificate is ready and I have just gone to collect it. I take it to be God’s time. I have always believed that justice delayed is justice denied, but all for the sake of our nation, I accepted it.”
Okorocha praised the judiciary for doing the needful and for being the last resort for the common citizens or anybody who felt oppressed.
He also had some good words for INEC: “I also want to thank INEC for taking this bold step against all odds by issuing my Certificate of Return, which goes a long way to confirm that the allegation of duress is not founded by delay tactics by my detractors to have slowed down the process. I believe this is God’s time and I take it as God’s time. I am happy that finally the matter is resolved.”
On being barred from participating in Tuesday’s inauguration and election of principal officers for the 9th National Assembly, particularly the senate, he said he had no hard feelings though he would have loved to be part of the process.
“Otherwise I missed because I didn’t have a certificate,” he said. “Now that I have the certificate, I have the opportunity to join my colleagues to see how to move Nigeria forward.”
The Crest had earlier reported that INEC had withheld Okorocha’s Certificate of Return sequel to an allegation by the Returning Officer in the election who claimed to have declared the former governor winner under duress.
Last Friday, a Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered INEC to issue him a Certificate of Return as Senator-elect representing Imo West Senatorial District.
Earlier, on on May 23, 2019, to be specific, a High Court in Imo State had ordered INEC not to issue a Certificate of Return to any of the candidates who contested the election. The court, in the judgement, also adjourned to June 26, 2019.