The immediate past Governor of Imo State, Rochas Okorocha is to face the battle to go to the Senate squarely having vacated the government house as his tenure had expired.
Recall that the case over Okorocha’s senate ambition is still in court after the electoral umpire refused to recognise him as the winner neither has it given him certificate of return.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal in Abuja has commenced the speedy hearing of the suit by Okorocha of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, seeking to be issued with certificate of return as senator-elect.
According to Daily Trust, three-member panel of justices on Monday unanimously approved the day-to-day hearing of the suit while striking out an appeal by the counsel to the APGA, Osita Izunaso, seeking to stay the proceedings of a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The order of the panel presided by Justice Stephen Adah followed an application by counsel to APGA, Ani, to withdraw the application from being incompetent. Other parties did not object to the application, but counsel to Okorocha, Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), asked the court to order accelerated hearing based on Rule 10 (C) of the court’s Practice Direction.
Justice Adah, however, ruled that “since we have been informed that the lower court has been hearing the case day-to-day, there is no need to order a fresh accelerated hearing. The day to day hearing as is presently done by the lower court is commendable and it should continue.”
Okorocha had filed the suit seeking to be issued with certificate of return as the winner of Imo West Senatorial election on the platform of the APC. He had joined PDP candidate, Jones Onyeriri, and the APGA candidate, Osita Izunaso, in the suit.
Other defendants in the matter are the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Nwachukwu Goodluck Clement of KOWA Party; Uche Onyeoma Ibe of Labour Party; Precious Nwadike of the United Progressives Party (UPP) and the APGA are all challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.
Okorocha has always insisted that he would go to the Senate despite all the oppositions and challenges coming his way all along. All eyes are now on the court to see how the matter ends amid the raging controversy.
Will Okorocha emerge victorious or not? Only time will tell as the court is expected to have the final say on the matter at the end of the day.
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