Mr. Kingdom Okere, counsel to Precious Nwadike, of the United Progressives Party, (UPP) said his client is seeking the arrest, investigation and prosecution of Imo Governor, Rochas Okorocha, for alleged electoral malpractice.
Speaking to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, Okere said that his client was opposed to an application filed by Okorocha concerning his senatorial election.
Okorocha filed a suit asking the Federal High Court, Abuja to urge the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to him as the senator-elect for the Orlu Senatorial District in Imo.
“We are here to vehemently opposing the suit filed by Okorocha.
“We should be talking about the police and security agencies arresting, investigating and prosecuting Okorocha upon the expiration of his constitutionally allowed immunity as governor of Imo for committing electoral offence.
“The electoral act is clear as to what constitutes electoral offence; somebody held a returning officer hostage at gun point and forced him to declare results in his favour and we are here speaking grammar that they should give him certificate of return.
“So we, having been joined as the sixth defendant.
“We will urge this court to make a consequential order on the security agencies to immediately apprehend him on the 29th of May and prosecute him for electoral offence.
“That is for holding a returning officer hostage, telling him to declare him at gun point. This is not about certificate of return but about the sanctity of our electoral system, “Okere said.
One of Okorocha’s counsels, Mr Chibueze Nwanedo, however, said that the issue raised by Okere was for the Election Petition Tribunal and not the court.
According to Nwanedo, we are here to ask the court to urge INEC to do the needful, that is, to complete the electoral process by issuing a certificate of return to the winner of Orlu Senatorial District.
He maintained that after INEC conducted the election, a winner was declared and yet they were withholding the certificate. He said that it was after INEC had issued the certificate of return that anyone aggrieved could go to the tribunal.
He also noted that the issue of several parties seeking to join the suit was only an attempt to divert the court’s attention from the main issue.
Earlier, Justice Taiwo Taiwo granted the request of the candidate of KOWA party, Mr Nwachukwu Clement and that of Labour Party, Mr Uche Onyioma to be joined in the suit filed by Okorocha and ordered that all processes be served on them.
Clement and Onyioma were also senatorial candidates in the National Assembly election of Feb. 23.