Former Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha Tuesday was denied entry to the National Assembly Complex during inauguration and election of principal officers of Nigeria’s legislative arm of government.
The inauguration of the ninth National Assembly which began 10 am was presided by the clerk of the assembly Mohammed Sani-Omolori.
Nigeria’s electoral body, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) refused to acknowledge Okorocha’s victory in February because the returning officer was made to announce the result under duress.
Imo State High Court upheld INEC’s decision not to issue Okorocha a certificate of return to acknowledge his victory as the Senator for Imo West Senatorial District.
But Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court last Friday ruled that INEC has no reason not to issue Okorocha certificate of return.
However, INEC reminded the court that while it ruled that Okorocha’s certificate of return be issued to him, the hearing of the case is still on and adjourned till June 26 at the state high court.
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 review of the election.
On the returning officer that announced the election result under ‘duress’, Okoye said, “the Commission… 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.”
Prior to the commencement of the inauguration, some governors of the All Progressives Congress led by the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi, stormed the NASS complex to witness the ceremony and the election that will follow.
Others who are in the National Assembly includes the governors of Kwara, Plateau, Kebbi Osun, Kano, Katsina and Nasarawa states.