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Imo Governorship: Uzodinma optimistic supreme would not overturn itself

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Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma (left) and National Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, briefing State House Correspondents after their meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja…yesterday PHOTO: NAN<br />


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Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma has expressed optimism that the Supreme Court would not reverse its judgment that sacked his predecessor, Emeka Ihedioha, and declared him winner of the March 19, last year governorship election.

This is just as the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of appointing a professor to rig the election in favour of Ihedioha, saying nobody was interrogating INEC; hence it is getting away with what he described as “blue murder.” 

Oshiomhole also blamed INEC’s “flouting of the provisions of the constitution” for the initial confusion and questions that trailed the Supreme Court judgment, saying besides choosing to exclude a huge number of validly cast votes in its final collation of the election, its decision to declare Ihedioha, who failed to meet the constitutional condition of meeting a quarter of votes cast in two-thirds of the council areas of the state, was a violation of the constitution.

The apex court had on January 14, this year, removed Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the ground that he did not score the lawful majority votes in the election.

The court said it arrived at that decision after adding votes scored by Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 388 polling units, which showed that he won the race.

It subsequently declared him winner of the election and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue him a Certificate of Return.

Ihedioha has, however, returned to the Supreme Court with a view to seeking a review of the judgment.Uzodinma, speaking with State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday in Abuja, said the matter was already “a concluded case,” adding: “I am not disturbed by the PDP’s move to seek a review of the judgment.

“I am not concerned because I believe they are going back to the Supreme Court based on falsehood, because the number of accredited votes outside the excluded votes is what they are talking about.

“But if you are going to court, you must go to court to discuss or talk about the number of accredited votes, including the excluded polling units. If you compute the number of accredited votes, inclusive of the excluded voters, the figures are correct.

“We went to court with an issue of exclusion; we didn’t go to court complaining about election malpractices, violence and all of that. So, it is a peculiar case.“My case can be likened to that of Jim Nwobodo vs Onoh and Omoboriowo vs Ajasin. It is the position of the Supreme Court that where an election has been announced at a polling unit, INEC is bound to collect the result and enter the results into the Form EC 8B.

“So, let INEC tell us what happened. I’m a lawmaker and I participated in the amendment of the Electoral Act. Election petitions are timed.

“As far as I’m concerned, the 60 days left for Supreme Court to look into that matter has expired. I’m not a lawyer, but with my little knowledge of law making, I understand what is in the Electoral Act.”

The governor, who was accompanied by Oshiomhole during the visit, pledged to transform the living conditions of the people of the state.
He particularly promised a better life for Imo workers, saying he had already paid all outstanding salaries of civil servants in the state, adding: “My mandate is about the people and my government will just be about the people and by the grace of God, I will not disappoint their expectations.”

Oshiomhole, who also spoke to correspondents, explained that they were in the Presidential Villa to introduce Uzodinma as the governor of Imo State to the President.He said: “Uzodinma is not a stranger to the President. He has been part of the APC family; he has played very decisive roles when it mattered in the affairs of the party. The purpose of today’s meeting is just to introduce him as the new executive governor of Imo.

“Buhari is very excited that we have established our foothold in the heart of the Southeast, and it coincides with the President’s vision of uniting the country.“Now, we can truly say that we not only control the centre, we have governors in each of the six political zones, and I believe that is good for our party and for the government.”


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