. 89.47% Nigerians Demand Review
The Nigerian Supreme Court has come under immense pressure both from ordinary Nigerians and civil societies to reverse its absurd judgement in the Imo State governorship case which controversially upturned the will of Imo people by sacking governor Emeka Ihedioha.
In a stunning decision that shocked even the brightest of legal scholars, the apex court had on January 14, 2020 removed Ihedioha of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor and declared Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the governor of Imo State.
More shocking was the fact that the decision was said to be unanimous.
Nationwide and international protests, public outcry and condemnation had trailed that judgement read by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun. And it seems that the controversy is not going away as a coalition of civil society groups on Sunday faulted the judgment of the Supreme Court and urged Mr. Ihedioha to approach the Supreme Court “to correct the patent errors in their judgment to ensure that Justice is not only done but obviously seen to have been done.”
This comes as Ihedioha’s legal team has already prepared its legal papers that will be filed at the registrar of the apex court for the review of the case on Monday.
An opinion poll conducted by CHECKPOINTCHARLEY indicates that 89.47% of Nigerians want the Supreme Court to review the judgement adjudged by many as erroneous.
Meanwhile, the civil society groups asked the Supreme Court “to take courage and recall the Imo state governorship matter and recall the error and restore Justice, peace, hope and faith in our democracy and regain the confidence of the Nigerian people.”
Dr. Manzo Abubakar of the Abuja Discussion Group who read the press statement on behalf of the coalition of the civil society groups said the Supreme Court is left with no option than to review and reverse this anomaly, “even if it means applying a Judicial Doctrine of Necessity. The confidence of Nigerians in the judiciary is at the lowest, and we believe that the Supreme Court can help to restore it and save the future elections.
“This is the time to apply the famous dictum: ‘Justice must be rooted in confidence and confidence is destroyed when right-minded people go away thinking: the judge is biased.’
“The Supreme Court is supreme and can creatively reinvent its own rules to do justice. It is necessary to do so now than ever to save Nigerian democracy, constitutionalism and retrieve the judicial and justice system from its present opprobrium.”
Other civil society groups at the press conference were Transparency Centre Network led by Comrade Umar Farouk; Movement for the Protection of People’s Rights, Baba Nagari; Coalition for Good Governance and Accountability, Adams Otakwe; Network for Freedom and Defence of Democracy, Musa Abdullahi; Centre for Human Rights and Justice, Bassey Ewa; Human Rights and Accountability Project Comrade Paul;. Baba Ali, Rights Monitoring Network; Queen Onwughalu, Association of African Writers on Human and People Rights , (AFRIRIGHTS) and Lucy Oparago, Youths for Electoral Transparency (YFET).
The rest were Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA); Ariyo-Dare Atoye Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution; Deji Adeyanju, Concerned Nigerians; Alex Obisesan, Adopt a Goal Initiative and Raphael Adebayo, Free Nigeria Coalition.
The groups added that facts before them indicate that the Supreme Court failed to do foul-proof mathematical computation of the results of votes cast at the election, but relied only on the data personally compiled and submitted by Sen. Hope Uzodinma to declare him duly-elected governor of Imo State.
“From the table he compiled from the 388 polling units, there were 252,452 registered voters, who gave the APC 213,695 votes, and 1,903 to Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“The table did not indicate the total number of accredited voters, nor the number of invalid votes, if any, and the votes allocated to the remaining 68 candidates that contested the election, aside from Uzodinma and Ihedioha.”