The Federal High Court in Owerri, Imo State has dismissed a suit filed by the former Bayelsa governorship aspirant in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Timi Alaibe challenging the emergence of the state governor, Duoye Diri as the legitimate winner of the PDP primaries held on September 3, 2019.
Mr Alaibe had dragged Douye Diri and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court over what he described as a ‘flawed process’ of the PDP primary.
But the court dismissed the suit for lacking in merit, adding that the PDP followed all the constitutional requirements to conduct the primary and subsequent emergence of Diri as the rightful candidate of the party.
The trial judge, Justice Tijani Rigim also ruled that Mr Alaibe shouldn’t have even approached the court in the first instance since PDP had met all the requirements.
But the state government in a different statement said the governor was not attacked but some aggrieved youths who wanted him to address them on the activities of some oil companies in the area threw a stone at the governor’s official vehicle where they were parked and in the process smashed the back glass.
The statement adds that the person who threw the stone has been arrested.
A prime suspect linked with the murder of a Reverend father, Cyriacus Onunkwo, in Omuma Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State, has been arrested by the Police.
Reverend Okonkwo, who was kidnapped in September 2017, while planning the burial of his father, was killed by gunmen and his body found a day later at Omuma in Oru East Local Government Area of the state.
The police in a statement on Saturday said the special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) arrested one Charles Nnanna who has been at large over the murder of the Reverend father.
It added that the suspect is the last of the four-man gang who committed the alleged crime.
According to the statement by the command, an investigation revealed that the suspect fled to Indonesia immediately after the crime, and based on credible intelligence, he was arrested during his traditional wedding ceremony a few days ago In Imo state
The command said that Nnanna has confessed to the crime as well as his role in the operation and he will be prosecuted accordingly.
The Supreme Court is hearing the application filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha, over the January 14, 2020 judgment which sacked him as the Governor of Imo State.
Mr. Ihedioha and the PDP, in their applications, claim that the judgment of the apex court which installed Senator Hope Uzodinma as the Governor of Imo State was obtained by fraud.
They are therefore praying the seven-man panel of the apex court to review and set aside the judgment.
The panel, headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammed, is currently hearing the application.
Lawyer to Mr. Ihedioha, Chief Kanu Agabi, in his argument, claims that fraud is evident in the judgment, as the appellant, Hope Uzodinma, claimed he was excluded from 388 polling units but tendered results from only 366 polling units
He adds that with the addition of votes from 388 polling units in favour of Senator Uzodinma exceeds the total number of accredited voters by 129,000 votes.
Countering the argument, Lawyer to Senator Hope Uzodinma says the application to revisit, review or set aside the judgment of the court is an incompetent one lacking in merit.
He argues further that the apex court lacks the jurisdiction to sit on appeal over any judgment delivered by the court except where cases of typographical errors or slips are noticed in the said judgment are established and in this case, no such errors have been established.
Mr Damian Dodo adds that the appellant approached the apex court in the face of compelling evidence that Senator Hope Uzodinma won the election, and therefore, has asked the court to dismiss the application.
Supreme Court has stood down Emeka Ihedioha’s application after listening to arguments from all the parties.
The apex court will deliver judgment by 3pm later today.
The judges resume to give judgement and Justice Olukayode Ariwoola is delivering judgment on Ihedioha’s application.
He says there is no constitutional provision empowering the apex court to sit on appeal over its own judgment, so the court does not have the competence to review its own judgment.
Justice Ariwoola states that the finality of the Supreme Court is entrenched in the constitution so the inherent powers of the court does not allow it to review or set aside its own judgment.
“The justices of the court are fallible but the judgment of the court is infallible to ask us to review the judgment will bring the court to disrepute.
The Supreme Court has dismissed Ihedioha’s application for review.
Six out of the seven judges upheld the earlier judgement, but a dissenting judgment by Justice Chima Nweze who believes the judgment ought to be reviewed.
He says the court has the power to overrule itself if such a judgment is not seen to have met the justice of the case.
He adds that Uzodinma misled the court in arriving at the judgment and that there is no evidence that he satisfied the required spread to have been declared the winner of the election.
Justice Nweze says this judgment will continue to haunt the nation’s electoral jurisprudence.
He set aside the judgment of January 14 and ordered Uzodinma to return the certificate of return issued to him as he affirms the election of Mr Ihedioha as the duly elected Governor of Imo state.
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.
I encourage our people to continue to be peaceful and law abiding, as we remain firm in our resolve to strengthen our democracy.
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.
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.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has embarked on what it termed “mother of all protests” against last week’s Supreme Court judgement on Imo Governorship appeal.
The apex court on Tuesday last week nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State and unanimously declared Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressive Congress (APC) as the winner of the March 9 governorship election.
A huge crowd of protesters, led by the national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, armed with placards, waving party flags, took off from the PDP headquarters annex in Abuja, to the Supreme Court to express their dissatisfaction with the judgement.
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.
Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, has debunked rumours making rounds in the state that he planned to probe his predecessors.
Governor Uzodinma disclosed this after inspecting some structures at the government house in Owerri.
The Governor said even though the business of governance includes probing and accountability, 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.
“When I asked for a status report from all the ministries, many people misunderstood it or assumed that the purpose of calling for that information is because I want to probe; I never said that I was going to probe anybody.
“The business of governance involves probing if need be; so I needed that information because there is no official handover from anybody, and for me to start the work, I need to know what is on the ground.”
He said since there’s been no proper handover from the immediate past government, if during an investigation and for proper accountability there’s need to call on anyone for Questioning as it deems fit, the Government will not hesitate to do so, but he hasn’t made any pronouncement of probing anyone. He urges the media to get accurate facts and statements before publishing.
“We will start and in the course of doing our business, if there are things that require investigation, we will subject them to an investigation. My business here is to govern the people, and in the process, if there is any need for any particular issue to be investigated or probed I will do that, but let nobody begin to speak for me because I have not said that yet.”
On the state of infrastructure in the government house, he said the government will begin renovation as soon as possible to enable the business of governance kick start in earnest.
Senator Hope Uzodinma has been sworn in as the governor of Imo State.
The governor-elect and his deputy, Professor Placid Njoku, were sworn in by the Chief Justice of the state, Justice Pascal Nnadi.
The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Imo State Government House, hours after Senator Uzodinma received his certificate of return from INEC in Abuja and one day after the Supreme Court nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha and declared him the elected governor of the state.
The National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, former Governor of the State, Senator Rochas Okorocha and governorship candidate of APGA in the 2019 governorship election, Ifeanyi Ararume were among those in attendance at the swearing-in ceremony.
Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka, who had predicted that Senator Uzodinma will emerge as governor of the state, was among those who were present at the event.
The priest had drawn a large crowd upon his arrival as many swarmed his car praising him for his prediction.
Several APC chieftains, including APC National Vice Chairman, Emma Eneukwu, APC National Organising Secretary, Emma Ibediro, the Speaker of the Imo House of Assembly Chiji, as well as Ahmed Gulak and Andy Uba, were also in attendance.
Earlier, Senator Hope Uzodinma had said that he owes his gubernatorial victory at the Supreme Court to a functional judiciary.
Speaking after he received the Certificate of Return from the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) as the governor-elect of Imo State, Sen Uzodinma stated that the Supreme Court’s judgment is justice for the Imo People.
“We owe this victory to the almighty God, we owe it to the functional judiciary, the Supreme Court used the eagle eyes of the law and gave us justice, and there is so much excitement down there in Imo state,” Uzodinma said.
Senator Uzodinma told newsmen that the verdict was the wish of the Imo people who came out and voted for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and himself.
Mr. Uzodinma also noted that there is happiness in Imo State, adding that this is a sign that the peoples’expectations and the mandate which they have given him, was protected.
The governor-elect promised to deliver for the Imo people, stating that he owes them that much.