Imo governor, Rochas Okorocha’s quest to receive the certificate of return as Imo West Senator-Elect suffered another setback as the second judge assigned to the case has also recused himself.
Backstory: Following the February 23 Senatorial elections, INEC had refused to hand a certificate of return to Okorocha after he was declared winner, based on allegations of intimidation by the Returning Officer.
Okorocha subsequently filed a suit asking the court to compel the umpire to issue his certificate. That’s when things got wild. The first judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja, pulled out of the case after allegations of bias were made by some of the parties.
New Judge Bows out too: Coming barely a week after Taiwo’s exit, the new judge assigned to the case, Justice Okon Abang, has also decided to recuse himself.
- Although Justice Abang had fixed April 18 for the hearing on the suit, he was forced to withdraw based on Okorocha’s letter to the Chief Justice of the Federal High Court, Justice Adamu Abdu Kafarati, asking that a new judge be assigned to the case.
- Okorocha claimed that his opponents had been jubilating since Abang was assigned the case, believing that he would dismiss Okorocha’s suit.