Ihedioha, PDP adduce reasons for returning to South ’Court
… Embrace Uzodinma, APC Advises Opposition Party
Former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, and his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have disclosed what they considered the faulty areas in the Supreme Court judgment that sacked him from office.
The apex court had on January 14, this year, sacked Ihedioha and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognise the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Hope Uzodinma as duly elected governor.
Meanwhile, impressed by Uzodinma’s performance since he took over governance in Imo State, the APC has urged the PDP to embrace the pronouncement of the apex court in good faith.
But the PDP has returned to the court, asking it to sack Uzodinma. The Motion on Notice dated February 5 and filed the same day, was brought pursuant to Section 6 (6) of the 1999 Constitution, Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act 2004, and under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
Some of the grounds for asking the court to review judgment with a view to rescinding it include a subsisting judgment of the Court of Appeal, which dismissed the petition filed by Uzodinma and his party as incompetent.
According to the party, the apex court in arriving at its judgment did not consider the Court of Appeal judgment in favour of Ihedioha and his party.
“The order of the Court of Appeal striking out the petition for being incompetent raised a jurisdiction issue, which the court ought to have resolved first before delving into the merits of the appeal.
“The failure of the court to consider and pronounce on this issue amounts to a failure of jurisdiction and completely erodes the jurisdiction of the apex court to consider the appeal on the merits.
“The Supreme Court never neither set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal striking out the petition for being incompetent nor made any pronouncement on it. In the absence of any pronouncement by the Supreme Court on this issue, the judgment of the Court of Appeal striking out the petition for being incompetent remains valid and subsisting,” the applicant held.
They held that the petitioner had misled the court into holding that a total of 213,495 votes were unlawfully excluded from the votes scored by the first applicant/respondent.
Other reasons for faulting the judgment include that it was allegedly delivered in error and that the court was misled to enter the judgment.
The applicants consequently prayed the court to set aside the judgment and reinstate Ihedioha as validly elected governor of Imo State. No date has been fixed for hearing.
But the APC in a statement issued in Owerri yesterday by a chieftain of the party, Simon Ebegbulem, who also the Chief Press Secretary to the National Chairman of the party, said: “The Supreme Court is the apex court of the land whose decisions are final and must be respected at all times. The APC, as a party, has always respected the decisions of our courts despite being the ruling party and we urge the opposition parties to do the same.
“When the Supreme Court annulled the congresses conducted in Rivers State and declared that APC had no candidates in Rivers State, the PDP applauded it and praised the judiciary.
“When the same apex court decided to annul the entire seats won by APC in Zamfara State due to what it described as improper conduct of APC primaries in the state, APC members did not storm the streets because they realised that in a democracy, the rule of law and independence of the three arms of government are supreme. And sadly for the APC, Zamfara State is a place where the PDP did not have even a councillor before now. But due to the ruling, the PDP took over the governorship, the entire House of Assembly and National Assembly seats. APC did not cry wolf or abuse the judiciary.
“These could not have happened during the era of the PDP, but because we have a president that believes in the rule of law, that believes in justice and equity, in the person President Muhammadu Buhari, these things were made possible.”