Supreme Court dismisses appeal against Okafor as Uzodinma contests Ihedioha’s victory
The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed against the election of Chike Okafor as representative of Ehime Mbano/Ihitte Uboma/Obowo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
In the appeal, Mrs. Uzoma Mary-Ann, through her counsel, Mohammed Ndariani Mohammed had on August 16, 2019 challenged the judgement of the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, which returned Okafor as the authentic representative of the constituency.
It had set aside the judgement of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Kubwa and presided over by Justice Kawo Bello J.
But counsel to the respondents Mr. Solomon Umoh, urged the court to dismiss the appeal for lacking in merit.
The five-man panel, after listening to arguments from both sides, unanimously upheld the objections of the respondents and consequently dismissed the appeal for lack of merit and incompetence, thus ending the long legal battle over the rightful representative of the constituency.
The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal had on August 7, 2019 restored the Certificate of Return issued to Okafor of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Meanwhile, the APC candidate in the Imo State governorship election Hope Uzodinma has appealed the verdict of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which in a unanimous ruling affirmed the victory of Governor Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Uzodinma, in his notice of appeal filed on September 24, 2019 in the Court of Appeal, Owerri with petition No: EPT/GOV/IM/08/2019, claimed that the tribunal’s “judgment was against the weight of evidence.”
He also prayed the court to sustain his appeal, set aside the tribunal’s verdict, order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as third respondent, as well as withdraw and issue to him the Certificate of Return issued to Ihedioha.
However, a former member of the Imo State House of Assembly, Emma Dike, has described the notice as unnecessary, saying: “It is only an attempt to only keep his remaining supporters together with false hope that the court would upturn the judgement.
“For me and every Imo indigene, Uzodinma has no case to appeal. He is only passing time and seeking to remain relevant with the appeal.”
After the ruling, Ihedioha in a statement urged Uzodinma and other opponents to join hands with him to rebuild the state and described the judgement as victory for Imo citizens, which would also strengthen his resolve to fulfill his campaign promises, with a view to making the state great again.