The Supreme Court has nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party as the governor of Imo State.
The apex court declared Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 9 governorship election in the state. Mr Uzodinma originally came fourth in the election.
The seven-member panel of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad gave the unanimous decision on Tuesday in Abuja.
DEZ MAYORZ via PREMIUM TIMES reported how the apex court earlier on Tuesday dismissed the appeal of Uche Nwosu, the candidate of the Action Alliance in the election. Mr Nwosu, who came second in the election, withdrew his suit which led to its dismissal by the judges.
Mr Nwosu withdrew the suit because the Supreme Court had last December ruled he was not a valid candidate for the election.
The election result
In the election held in March, Mr Ihedioha of the PDP was declared winner.
He polled 273,404 ahead of his closest rival and candidate of the Action Alliance, Uche Nwosu, who polled a total of 190,364.
Mr Nwosu is the son-in-law of the then governor, Rochas Okorocha, who strongly backed his candidacy.
The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ifeanyi Ararume came third ahead of Mr Uzondima of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The former polled 114, 676 while the latter polled 96,458.
The candidate of Accord and Mr Okorocha’s predecessor, Ikedi Ohakim, came distant fifth on the log with 6,846 votes.
Announcing the results of the election, the state’s returning officer and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Umundike, Abia State, Francis Atunta, gave the total registered voters across the state’s 27 local government areas as 2,221,008 and the total accredited voters as 823,743.
He said a total of 25,130 votes were cancelled across the state with total valid votes as 714,355 while the total votes cast is 739,485.
A total of 70 candidates representing various political parties took part in the election.
Details of the reasons for Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling would be provided in subsequent updates and stories.
Uche Nwosu case.
The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance (AA), challenging the election of Governor Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
This followed the withdrawal of the appeal by Mr Nwosu’s lawyer, Solomon Umoh.
The respondents in the matter, including Mr Ihedioha and the PDP, did not object to the application of Mr Nwosu to withdraw his appeal before the apex court.
The Supreme Court had on December 20 held that Mr Nwosu was not a candidate in the March 9 governorship election. Mr Nwosu’s counsel said it was based on that ruling that he was withdrawing his appeal.
“Based on the judgment of this court in appeal SC. 1384/2019 delivered on December 20, 2019, and subsequently, on my advice to my client, we have decided to withdraw this appeal,” Mr Umoh said.
The Supreme Court judgement referenced was on a case marked SC. 1384/2019, which held that Mr Nwosu was not validly nominated as a candidate of the AA to participate in the March 9, 2019 governorship poll. The apex court held that he lacked the locus standi to file any case as relates to the election.
Based on the withdrawal by his lawyer, the apex court in a unanimous ruling read by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, dismissed Mr Nwosu’s appeal.
Mr Nwosu was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) until he defected to the AA before the elections. He was supported by the then outgoing governor, Rochas Okorocha.
Mr Ihedioha eventually defeated the candidates of the AA, APC and other parties to win the election, but now turn down by supreme Supreminfavor of Hope Uzodimma.