Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, disqualified himself from presiding over the suit governor Rochas Okorocha filed to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to issue him a Certificate of Return as the Senator- elect for Imo West Senatorial District.
At the resumed proceeding on the matter, Justice Taiwo told the parties that he would no longer entertain the case in view of a petition that was lodged against him by Mr. Jones Onyereri, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the disputed Imo West Senatorial election and would therefore transfer the case-file back to the Chief Judge for re-assignment to another Judge.
Okorocha who vied for Senate on the banner of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had in his suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/296/2019, maintained that INEC lacked the statutory powers to withhold his Certificate of Return, saying he was validly elected to occupy the senatorial seat.
INEC had declined to issue Certificate of Return to Okorocha, after the returning officer Prof Francis Ibeawuchi, alleged that he was forced to declare him winner under duress.
Ibeawuchi claimed that he announced Okorocha as the winner to save his life and that of his household, insisting however that the election ought to have been declared inconclusive.