The Supreme Court of Nigeria has upturned the election victory of governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State and declared Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives congress (APC) winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election.
The apex court gave the verdict on Tuesday after it heard the petitions of both Uche Nwosu and Ifeanyi Ararume, governorship candidates of the Action Alliance (AA) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) respectively in the Imo governorship election.
A seven-man panel of the apex court, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, unanimously declared Uzodinma as the winner of the governorship election and the validly elected governor of the state.
Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, who read the lead judgment, ordered that the certificate of return issued to Ihedioha be immediately withdrawn.
Before the decision, Yusuf Ali, representing Mr. Ararume had adopted the appellant’s brief of argument, which was filed on December 13.
Mr Ali asked the court to allow the appeal.
While the first, second and third respondents, all adopted their brief of argument filed on different dates in December 2019, asking the court to dismiss the appeal.
Head of the panel, Mohammed (CJN), allowed the adoptions.
Before the final judgement, the Supreme Court had dismissed the appeal filed by AA’s candidate, Uche Nwosu, challenging the election of Ihedioha, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as governor.
This followed the withdrawal of the appeal by Mr Nwosu’s lawyer, Solomon Umoh.
The apex court had on December 20 held that Nwosu was not a candidate in the March 9 governorship election.
Recall that Nwosu was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) until he defected to the AA before the elections after losing the APC ticket to Senator Hope Uzodinma.
More to follow…