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CSOs to protest against Supreme Court’s verdict on Imo

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• Ohanaeze, APGA urge calm, restraint
• Uzodinma extends olive branch to opponents

Piqued by the January 14 judgement of the Supreme Court nullifying the election Emeka Ihedioha as governor of Imo State, civil society organisations (CSOs) have called on Nigerians to rise up and defend the country’s democracy, as they plan to protest against the ruling tomorrow.

The apex court, in a unanimous judgement on Tuesday, replaced Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who finished fourth in the March 9, 2019 governorship election.

In the same vein, the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), Democracy and Good Governance, and the Civil Liberties and Rule of Law have declared the sack Ihedioha as a tragedy, and the apex court’s decision a conspiracy.But Human Right, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders’ Foundation (HURIDE) advised Nigerians to prepare for a massive protest tomorrow in Owerri, Imo State, against the judgement.

Chairman of HURIDE, Uzor A. Uzor, told journalists yesterday in Awka, Anambra State, that the judges showed that they could not be trusted by Nigerians as “the last hope of the common man”.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of Intersociety, Emeka Umeagbalasi; head of Democracy and Good Governance, Chinwe Umeche; and head of Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, Obianuju Igboeli, declared that the judgement moved from “hawkish plots to satanic prophesy; ending with judicial execution.”

In a statement in Awka yesterday, they said the apex court ended up enthroning a new governor in Imo through the window, using strange, erroneous and politically-motivated “Judico-Mathematical Salami Technique”.But the Youth Wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo urged residents of Imo, especially youths, to remain calm over the ruling.

The leader, Chief Arthur Obiora, while speaking with newsmen in Enugu, insisted that no matter what happened, all political gladiators in the state must pursue the people’s interest and embrace peace.Also, the National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Edozie Njoku, yesterday enjoined the citizenry to exercise restraint on the Supreme Court verdict.

Njoku, who briefed reporters after a Federal High Court in Abuja upheld his election as substantive chairman of the party, said: “I have not really looked at that case fully to read through what transpired. But what I am against is when we sit down to cast aspersions at the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal or any other court. I cannot get up and start making categorical statements on the decision.”

Meanwhile, Governor Uzodinma has called on his opponents to join hands with him to move the state forward.Uzodinma, in his speech shortly after his inauguration in Owerri on Wednesday, said he would also run a government where every citizen of the state would have a say and be recognised.

He said, “My government shall be a faithful covenant between the people and the government. We shall put in place an efficient Imo State factory room of good governance for the ceaseless production of economic prosperity, accountability, justice and equity.“Our doors are wide open to all, including my political opponents. We all have equal stake in the new Imo. So, I invite everyone to join hands with me; so that in truth and love, we can work together to make life better for our people and make Imo the pride of the nation.”


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