By Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Thursday bowed to pressure as it issued Certificate of Return to Sen. Benjamin Uwajumogu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the Imo North Senatorial District election.The Commission had, on Tuesday, declared that it would not be stampeded into issuing certificate of returns to the Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu.Uwajumogu was however issued the certificate on yesterday at about 4p.m. at INEC Headquarters in Abuja.The INEC National Commissioner in charge of Political Parties monitoring, Dr. Mustafa Lecky presented the certificate to Senator Uwajumogu.
Speaking with newsmen after collecting the certificate, the Senator-elect commended the judiciary for standing by truth.Uwajumogu also lauded INEC for obeying court order, which directed that he should be issued the certificate.
He pledged to rededicate himself to serving Imo North better than he did in 8th senate.
Uwajumogu further hailed the people of his constituency for not taking laws into their hands during trying times.
It will be revalled that Justice Taiwo Taiwo, of a Federal High Court, Abuja had ordered INEC to immediately issue a Certificate of Return to the Uwajumogu.
Uwajumogu had approached the court seeking for an order to compel INEC to issue him the certificate after the failure of the electoral body to declare him the winner of the senatorial election on an allegation that the electoral process was marred by irregularities.The commission, declared shortly after that it would not be stampeded into issuing certificate of returns to the senatorial candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) for Imo North in the last general elections, Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu.The Prof. Mahmood Jega-led INEC made the declaration in response to a protest on Monday by some persons at the commission’s headquarters calling for the issuance of certificate of returns to Uwajumogu.The Commission, in a statement by its National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye, maintained that its commitment is to the rule of law and the enthronement of clean electoral process, and in discharging this duty, the commission will not waver, be blackmailed or intimidated.The commission insisted that it is interested in obeying the courts, stressing that this has nothing to do with the political affiliation of the candidates or the aggrieved parties.