Imo Gov: Tension As Supreme Court Decides Ihedioha, Uzodinma’s fate today

LAGOS MARCH 2ND (NWSRANGERS)-The Supreme Court will tomorrow  hear and make a pronouncement on the application by former Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, urging it to set aside its January 14, 2020, judgment that ousted him from office in favour of the incumbent governor of the state, Hope Uzodinma.

The motion which was filed by the legal team of the former governor headed by Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), was in respect of appeals Nos: SC. 1462/2019; SC/1470/2019; CA/OW/GOV/05/2019 and petition No: EPT/GOV/IM/08/2019, between Senator Hope Uzodinma, All Progressives Congress (APC) and Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

It is the contention of Ihedioha that the judgment of the Supreme Court be set aside is a nullity as it was obtained by fraud.

On this ground, Ihedioha submitted that “the appellants/respondents (Uzodinma), fraudulently misled the court into holding that a total of 213,495 votes were unlawfully excluded from the votes scored by the 1st appellant/respondent in the gubernatorial election of 9th March 2019 in Imo State.

He further submitted that “the 1st appellant/respondent admitted under cross-examination that he was the person (and not the 3rd respondent (INEC or any of its officials) who computed the result that gave him the 213,495 votes alleged to have been excluded from his total votes in the election.

“The fraudulent nature of the additional votes was demonstrated by the fact that the total votes cast as shown in the 1st appellant/ respondent’s computation was more than the total number of voters accredited for the election and in some polling units more than the total number of registered voters.

“The fraud was also demonstrated by the fact that the result computed by the 1st appellant/Respondent showed only the votes of the 1st Applicant and the 1st Appellant/respondent without specifying the votes scored by the other 68 candidates who participated in the election.

But responding, Governor Hope Uzodimma has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss an application filed by former Governor Emeka Ihedioha, seeking the setting aside of it’s January 14 judgment that removed him from office.

The governor position is contained in his preliminary objection challenging the competence of Ihedioha’s motion.

In the said motion dated February 5, 2020, Ihedioha prayed the apex court for an order setting aside “as a nullity the judgment delivered by it on the 14th of January, 2020 in Appeal No. SC.1462/ 2019 and Cross-Appeal No. SC.147Y0/ 2019.

However, governor Uzodinma in his preliminary objection dated February 6, 2020, urged the court to strike it out.

In addition, motion on notice brought pursuant to Section 6(6)(a) of the 1999 Uzodinma and his political platform, the All Progressives Congress (APC), predicated their objection on the grounds that “the application being a proceeding relating to or arising from election of a governor is barred by effluxion of time.

“The application constitutes an invitation to the Supreme Court to sit on appeal over its final decision” Uzodimma posited.

Besides, the objectors through their counsel, Damien Dodo (SAN) submitted that “having delivered its final decision on the 1st and 2nd Respondents’ Appeal No. SC. 1462/2019 between Senator Hope Uzodinma & Anor v Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha & 2 Ors., the Supreme Court has become fuctus officio and divested of jurisdiction over the same subject matter”.

“Order 8 Rule 16 of the Supreme Court Rules 2014 prohibits this honourable court from reviewing its judgment once given and delivered, save to correct clerical mistakes or accidental slip.

“The judgment sought to be set aside having been given effect by the inauguration of the 1st respondent/objector as governor of Imo State, this honourable court lacks the jurisdiction to grant the prayer sought” Uzodimma argued.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had after the March 9, 2019, gubernatorial election in Imo state, declared Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as the winner of the poll.

Aggrieved by the declaration of Ihedioha by the INEC as winner of the governorship election, Uzodimma and APC challenged the said declaration by way of a petition.

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Posted by on Mar 2 2020. Filed under National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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