The 2019 governorship election took place in Imo State just like every other state in Nigeria. At the end of the exercise, Hon Emeka Ihedioha was declared the winner and sworn in as governor.
As expected, his opponents challenged the results in court and below is what they plead and their issues:
He claimed he won APC primaries and went to court.He never vacated his claim to the APC mandate. Posed as AA candidate at the actual election ballot- a clear case of double candidacy.
He was rightly disqualified by Supreme Court.
He claims that he requires a re-run election since the election was marred by violence: Ballot snatching and electoral crimes.
He called zero material witness to prove his case and never challenged the votes canvassed from the 388 pooling booths, In effect, he could not prove his case.
He was declared governor by INEC. But he never challenged the 388 Pooling Booths, he never tendered an alternate record of his participation at those booths. Thus in not challenging them, he conceded them. That sealed his fate.
Hope agreed with the tallied result by INEC but claims it was incomplete.
He agreed that the election was free and fair.
He contended that the 388 Booths omitted must count.
He tendered copies of his agents results in court, got the Nigerian Police Force to tender their counter copy and INEC did not oppose the records, nor declared it a fraud.That was the crux of his case
The truth is that the judges don’t work with sentiments and emotions but facts presented to them.
Once the presiding officer has signed the results INEC have no right to cancel the results. That power resides with the court (Tribunal).
Ihedioha’s legal team would have challenged the results of those polling unit rather than dismissing it. Hope went to court saying I scored the highest votes and I have 2:3rd spread. Remember he tendered CTC by INEC with the results of those polling units.
At the Supreme Court, the learned justices of the supreme found merit in Hope Uzodinma’s submission.
The appellant, Senator Uzodinma contended that he scored the highest number of votes in the election, but the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returned Emeka Ihedioha as the Governor of the State.
Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun who delivered the judgment on Tuesday, declared that the votes due to Senator Uzodinma were unlawfully excluded from the 318 polling units and should be added to his votes.
The apex court considered the submissions of a Principal witness who was on a subpoena to present results and held that the lower court was wrong in its ruling.
Justice Kekere-Ekun, while reading the lead judgment, declared Senator Uzodinma as the validly elected Governor and the certificate of return issued to Ihedioha be withdrawn immediately.
I know we don’t trust our judicial system, but in this case, we have to look at facts and argue without sentiments.
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.