Imo Election: Supreme Court Adjourns Hearing Of Ihedioha’s Case

A file photo of former Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha.

 

The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing of former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha to March 2, 2020.

Mr Ihedioha approached the apex court with an application to reverse itself on the judgement sacking him from office as governor.

The Supreme Court had fixed today to hear the appeal filed by Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), one month after it sacked him on January 14 and declared the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Hope Uzodinma, as the duly elected governor of Imo State.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: Court Stops INEC From Deregistering 35 Political Parties

At the hearing today, lawyer to Mr Ihedioha, Mr Kanu Agabi, filed an application stating that he needs a little time to file some processes before the Court.

Lawyers to Governor Hope Uzodinma and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not oppose the application.

The seven-man panel of the apex court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Mohammed, after listening to all the parties, adjourned the hearing to March 2, 2020.

Imo Election: APC Protesters Say Supreme Court Decision Is Final

Pro APC Supporters in Abuja, calling on the Supreme Court not to revert its judgement on Imo election.
Photo: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

Some protesters aligned with the All Progressive Congress (APC) have said that the decision of the Supreme Court which sacked former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, is final.

The apex court will on Tuesday, hear an appeal filed by Mr Ihedioha seeking a review on the judgement issued in January 2020.

The pro-APC group in a protest march in Abuja on Monday called on the apex Court not to rescind its judgement.

The group which first occupied the Federal Secretariat in Abuja, marched to the Ministry of Justice, displaying placards with solidarity messages for the Federal Government and the Supreme Court.

READ ALSO: Court Restrains INEC From Deregistering 31 Political Parties

Its co-convener, Nwosu Butches stressed that politicians cannot blackmail the apex court justices to revert its judgement.

“When you call on the Supreme Court to revert its decisions, you are setting the motion for anarchy; the Supreme Court is the apex court, its decision is final.

“What we want the politicians to do is to understand that the Supreme Court represents the soul of democracy. The judgement of Imo state was sound and straight forward.”

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the apex court to rescind its judgement, a demand the protesters describe as an attempt to blackmail the judiciary.

“Seven justices of the Supreme Court sat and took a decision, no single dissenting judgement. If you tell the Supreme Court through blackmail to revert its judgement, it means you are setting another Supreme Court above the present Supreme Court.”

He asked “can you appeal the judgement of the Supreme Court? The answer is No.”

VIDEO: Singer Charlie Boy Leads Protest Against Imo Supreme Court Judgement

 

Singer, Charles Oputa, fondly called Charlie Boy, on Wednesday, led a protest against the Supreme Court Judgement on the Imo State Governorship election.

The apex court had in January sacked Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), replacing him with Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 2019 election.

Charlie Boy alongside the protesters under the umbrella of the Imo Concerned Citizens gathered at the Ekwema Square in Owerri, the Imo capital, demanding the reversal of the court’s judgement sacking Emeka Ihedioha as the leader of the South-East State.

According to them, the court must reverse the judgment in Imo State which they described as injustice against the people.

They insisted they would continue the protest until the court reviews the judgement in favour of the PDP.

Operatives of the Department of States Services (DSS), however, prevented a clash between the PDP and APC supporters during the protest.

While reacting to the development, Ihedioha in a tweet on his verified handle, hailed the protesters, calling on them not to relent until justice is served.

 

“Today, concerned citizens of our State took to the streets yet again to carry on with their demand for justice,” he tweeted.

“I encourage our people to continue to be peaceful and law abiding, as we remain firm in our resolve to strengthen our democracy.

“Imo Bu Nke Anyi,” Ihedioha tweeted.

Uzodinma Dissolves All Boards And Parastatals Constituted By Ihedioha

Imo APC Faction Expels Hope Uzodinma
Senator Hope Uzodinma

 

Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has dissolved all boards and parastatals constituted by the ousted government of Emeka Ihedioha.

Governor Uzodinma ordered the chairmen and members of the boards and parastatals to hand over all government property in their possession to the most senior civil servants in their respective agencies.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: ‘Tanko Must Go’ – Ihedioha’s Supporters Troop To The Streets

The Chief Press secretary to the Imo state Governor, Ogwuike Nwachukwu who confirmed this dissolution to Channels Television, said the directive is with immediate effect.

Governor Uzodinma had on Sunday debunked rumours making rounds in the state that he planned to probe his predecessors.

He explained that his directive to the Accountant-General of the state and the officials of the civil service to furnish him with the financial statement of the state may have been misconstrued.

PHOTOS: ‘Tanko Must Go’ – Ihedioha’s Supporters Troop To The Streets

 

Supporters of Mr Emeka Ihedioha trooped to the streets of Owerri on Sunday to kick against the verdict of the Supreme Court which led to the removal of the PDP candidate as governor of Imo State.

The apex court had on Tuesday last week ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to return Hope Uzodinma, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the election.

The APC candidate had placed a distant fourth in the results announced by INEC but the apex court declared him winner based on Uzodinma’s claim that his votes across 388 polling units were annulled.

Diverse reactions were stirred by the verdict, with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) threatening and carrying out protest marches across the federation, including a peaceful walk in Abuja on Monday.

READ ALSO: PDP Stages ‘Mother Of All Protests’ Against Supreme Court Judgement

Below are some photos from the protest which held on Sunday.

 

‘Reverse This Injustice Now’ – PDP Members Troop To Streets Across Nigeria

 

Hundreds of supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party in some states across the nation are currently staging a protest against the supreme court ruling that sacked Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State. 

The protesters carrying placards with various inscriptions could be seen calling on the leadership of the Supreme Court to immediately take a judicial review of the judgment and make a quick reversal in the best interest of the people.

Some described the supreme court judgment as an anomaly that does not reflect the true desires of Imo voters during the 2019 governorship elections.

The protests are currently taking place in Abia, Imo, Anambra, Taraba, Gombe and some other states of the federation.

A seven-member panel of the Supreme Court last week unanimously nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha and declared Hope Uzodinma of the APC as the winner of the march 9 governorship election in the state.

Uzodinma placed a distant fourth in the results announced by INEC was announced the winner after the Apex court declared him the right person for the governorship seat, based on the APC candidate’s claim that his votes across 388 polling units were annulled.

Below are photos from the protests taking place in different states across the federation.

 

 

 

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‘Igbos Cannot Produce President By Just Complaining’ – The Week In Quotes

 

The past week was a very tensed one with so much to be discussed from politics to security matters. 

Below are some quotes that give us a feel of what transpired within the course of the week under review.

  1. A lot needs to be done quite frankly because if what we read in the papers or what we listen to on the radio is true, there are still some challenges in most of these areas we assumed the security situation has been stabilised.

Former military President, Ibrahim Babangida, shares his view on Operation Amotekun recently launched by the South-West governors, stating that the move is not a viable one.

2. Given his antecedents, I have no doubt that Senator Hope Uzodinma has the competence, capacity, character, and wisdom to steer Imo State to the next level of development. This is no time for politics but for policies, programme, and actions that will usher in a new lease of life for the people.

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, reacts to the Supreme Court judgment that declared Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 19 governorship election.

3. In its wisdom, the Apex Court finally declared my brother, Senator Hope Uzodinma the validly elected Governor of Imo State In the 2019 Governorship election. I wish to state categorically that I accept the judgment of the Supreme Court in good faith and hereby congratulate Senator Uzodinma on his emergence as Governor.

The governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the March 9 governorship election in Imo State, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume says he has accepted the outcome of the appeal at the Supreme Court in good faith.

4. The mandate you freely gave me ‘has now been truncated’.

Mr Emeka Ihedioha says that the mandate given to him by the Imo people has been truncated following the verdict of the Supreme Court that ousted him and brought in Senator Hope Uzodinma.

5. The Constitution does not prohibit us from doing what we are doing.

The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who is also the Chairman of the Southwest Governors Forum says that the nation’s Constitution does not prohibit the governors from running with the ‘Operation Amotekun’.

6. In this case, the statement credited to the Attorney General of the Federal Government is clearly diversionary and hypocritical.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana says that the Attorney General’s statement concerning Operation Amotekun is diversionary and hypocritical.

7. Stepping up cooperation with the US in the area of counter-terrorism is something that should be pursued vigorously given the threats of terrorism in the Sahel.

The increase in activities and threats by terrorist groups in the Sahel region can be largely curbed by stepping up relations between Nigeria and the United States of America, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

8. We owe this victory to a functional judiciary.

Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) says he owes his gubernatorial victory at the Supreme Court to a functional judiciary.

9. Nigeria has made significant progress over the last twenty years since the country’s return to democracy in 1999.

President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, speaks on Nigeria’s democratic journey so far.

10. There is a good opportunity for Igbos to produce the president of Nigeria in the near future or later. The political arrangement in the country is such that you need correlation with some parts of the North and South. The Igbo can make a move of getting partners from other parts of the country, in particular, the North.  It is not just to complain; meaningful efforts should be made to reach out to get partners so that eventually they will realise their aspirations; and I think they can.

Former Presidential Adviser, Tanko Yakasai, believes the Igbo ethnic group has a chance to produce a Nigerian President if it gets the blessing of other parts of the country, especially the North.

11. He died and left office without having mansions.

Bauchi state remembers Late Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first and only Prime Minister.

12. It’s very difficult to be ambitious when you are living in that kind of place because you are only seeing one thing and my goal is to expose them to more than what they have.

Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, Nyekachi Douglas speaks after stealing the headlines with her wild celebrations following the announcement of Miss Jamaica as the world’s most beautiful woman at the Miss World 2019 beauty pageant.

13. Please save me, I don’t want to die.

A young Nigerian lady who was trafficked to Lebanon regains her freedom and is handed over to the Nigerian Ambassador in Beirut.

14. Amotekun is a pleasant new year gift.

Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka declares his support for the Western Nigeria Security Network, popularly known as ‘Amotekun’.

15. It is unlawful for Buhari’s daughter to use the presidential jet for private affairs.

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, says the private use of the Presidential Jet by members of President Buhari’s immediate family, is not in accordance with the law.

16. I insist that elections must be free and fair because I am a clear successor to a free and fair election.

President Muhammadu Buhari declares that as a beneficiary of a free and fair election in the country he would bequeath the same to his successor and the nation in 2023.

17. Heaven and Nigerians will never honour those involved in election rigging

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike speaks on attempts to rig elections in the oil-rich state.

18. I’ve Been vindicated because Nigeria is still ‘Jaga Jaga’.

Nigerian musician, Eedris Abdulkareem, says he feels vindicated 18 years after he released his hit song, ‘Nigeria Jaga Jaga’.

The Mandate You Freely Gave Me ‘Has Now Been Truncated’, Ihedioha Tells Imo Citizens

 

Mr Emeka Ihedioha has said that the mandate given to him by the Imo people has been truncated following the verdict of the Supreme Court that ousted him and brought in Senator Hope Uzodinma. 

Ihedioha in a statement he personally signed, described the ruling of the Supreme Court as unfair and unjust.

The ousted PDP candidate said the judgement comes to him as a ‘rude shock’ and a surprise considering the facts on the ground, legal precedence and ‘clear verdict’ of Imo People on March 9 2019, that returned him as governor with the highest valid votes of 273,404.

According to Ihedioha, the ruling of the apex court contravened the will of the Imo people.

READ ALSO: Hope Uzodinma Sworn In As Imo State Governor

Ihedioha said he does not agree with the judgement of the Supreme Court, noting that the ruling didn’t take care of the sensibilities of the people of Imo State.

He, however, added that as true democrats, Engr Gerald Irona and himself have no option but to respect the outcome of the judgement.

Mr Ihedioha said consequently, his team has put machinery in motion to hand-over the reins of office to the APC Candidate as the next governor of Imo State.

“This will be coordinated by the Secretary to the State Government. I therefore direct all members of Imo State Expanded Executive Council, and all political appointees to write their handing-over notes and to return all government properties in their custody, forthwith. I shall not be a party to pilfering of Government property or funds,” Ihedioha stated.

He appreciated the people of Imo State for all their solidarity and goodwill adding that he would forever cherish and treasure the peoples’ love, trust and partnership.

Supreme Court Nullifies Election Of Ihedioha, Declares Hope Uzodinma Imo Governor

 

The Supreme Court has nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo state.

The seven-man panel led by Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad unanimously declared Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 19 governorship election.

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.

READ ALSO: Imo Election: Uche Nwosu Withdraws Appeal Against Governor Ihedioha

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.

Meanwhile, candidate of the Action Alliance (AA), Uche Nwosu, withdrew a second appeal filed against the election of Emeka Ihedioha.

According to his counsel, Mr. Solomon Umoh (SAN), the withdrawal on Tuesday is based on the judgment of the apex court delivered on the 20th of December 2019.

Tribunal Affirms Ihedioha’s Election As Imo Governor

Imo Election: 47 Parties Vow To Challenge Ihedioha's Victory
A file photo of Imo State Governor-Elect, Emeka Ihedioha.

 

The Imo State Election Tribunal has affirmed the election of Emeka Ihedioha as governor of the state.

The chairman of the tribunal, Justice Umar Dogondaji, in his ruling on Saturday, dismissed the petition of Senator Hope Uzodinma because he did not discharge the burden of proof of the allegation that his results were excluded from the final results of the election.

He also dismissed the petition of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and its governorship candidate Senator Ifeanyi Arareume for lacking in merit as well as that of the candidate of the Action Alliance Party, Mr. Uche Nwosu, for incompetence.

READ ALSO: [Updated] Imo Election: Tribunal Dismisses Three Petitions Against Ihedioha

The witnesses were discredited under cross-examination.

They all confirmed that there was no signature of the presiding officers on the documents they tendered as the results of the election in the various units in the state.

The judgment was delivered at the FCT High Court in Jabi, Abuja after a briefing in Owerri, the Imo State capital, where it had received and entertained several petitions.

The governorship candidates of the Action Alliance, All Progressives Congress, (APC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), had filed petitions at the tribunal asking it to nullify the election of Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on the ground that he was unlawfully declared as the governor of the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

[Updated] Imo Election: Tribunal Dismisses Three Petitions Against Ihedioha

Imo State Governor-Elect, Emeka Ihedioha, speaks after receiving his Certificate of Return.

 

The Imo State Election Tribunal has dismissed the petition of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and its governorship candidate Senator Ifeanyi Arareume for lacking in merit.

The tribunal in its sitting today also dismissed the petition of the candidate of the Action Alliance Party, Mr. Uche Nwosu, for incompetence.

READ ALSO: Imo Election Tribunal To Deliver Judgment On Petition Against Ihedioha

Three petitions were filed by the governorship candidates of the Action Alliance, All Progressives Congress, (APC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA),  asking the tribunal to nullify the election of Mr Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on the ground that he was unlawfully declared as the governor of the state by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

However, two of those petitions have now been dismissed.

The governorship election petition tribunal in has dismissed all the applications challenging the victory of governor Emeka Ihedioha for lacking in merit.

But the court is currently ruling on the petition proper.

Senator Hope Uzodinma of the APC had approached the tribunal claiming that governor Ihedioha did not meet the constitutional requirement to be declared governor and that there was no substantial compliance to the law in declaring him as governor.

The chairman of the tribunal Justice Umar Dogondaji said six preliminary objections were filed in the said petition. All the applications have been dismissed for lacking in merit.

They are now considering the petition in the main.
The petition the chairman said was filed on the following grounds

Senator Uzodinma, therefore, asked for an order declaring him the winner of the Imo state governorship election and an order asking to withdraw the certificate of return given to governor Ihedioha.

Governor Ihedioha on his part asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lacking in merit.

The tribunal in the final analysis however held that the evidence of over 50 witnesses is of no probative value since they made their statements in Hausa language and the statements are not before the tribunal.

The tribunal chairman said that Uzodinma called several witnesses and also stood for himself, alleging voting in Mbaise Local Government Area of the state.

He also alleged that his polling agents were not allowed to perform their functions during the election.

The chairman of the tribunal said that Senator Uzodinma had to reform the function of a collation agent for his party because of the situation of the day of the election.

He also said in his witness testimony that he wants the tribunal to set aside the election of the first respondent who is governor Emeka Ihedioha.

The petitioner, however, called 53 witnesses.

It is their evidence that the form EC8A were rendered but they could only see the results of their party the APC.

That the other entries on the documentary they represented were not legible and that they could not identify the name of the presiding officer on the said documents that were tendered by their party.

The start witness according to the chairman of the tribunal stated that INEC did not give them the certified true copy of the form EC8A and the copies tendered were the copies collected by their polling agents which were tendered at their party’s national secretariat.

Meanwhile both second and third respondents in the petition did not call any witnesses and closed their case because those who tendered it were not the makers of the document as such their testimony and the said documents are placed with hearsay and in law when a testimony is laced with hearsay it cannot be given a probative value.