January 30, 2020

Imo Guber: How Supreme court erred in computation of results

Imo: Supreme Court verdict excites APC Chairman, Oshiomhole

Ihedioha(left) and Uzodinma


*Declared more votes than accredited voters

*Failed to interrogate  petitioners’ evidence

*Avoided mentioning figures in a written judgment

Facts have emerged that the Supreme Court failed to do a thorough mathematical computation of the results of the election but relied only on the wrong computations submitted by Sen. Hope Uzodinma to declare him the duly-elected governor of Imo State.

Our correspondents who obtained a copy of the certified-true-copy of the record of the appeal filed at the Supreme Court by Sen. Uzodunma and the All Progressives Congress (APC), issued by Nwana Ejike, Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Owerri, emanating from record originally compiled by Ibrahim Garba, the Secretary of the Election Petition Tribunal in Owerri, there were obvious mathematical and factual inconsistencies which the apex court waved aside.

Also read: Seven reasons Supreme Court can reverse itself on Imo guber’

It should be recalled that at the state’s Governorship Election Tribunal, Sen. Uzodinma had from pages 9 to 27 of his petition drawn up table of votes allocation which he claimed were the figures obtained from the duplicate copies of Forms EC8A handed over to his party agents at the 388 polling units where he claimed results were excluded from the overall result of the election.

From the table he compiled, there were 252,452 registered voters, who gave the APC 213,695 votes and 1,903 to Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The table did not indicate the total number of accredited voters, nor the number of invalid votes and the votes allocated to the remaining 68 candidates that contested the election.

However, an analysis of the duplicate Forms EC8A tendered by PW54, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Rabiu Hussein, there were no fewer than six polling units where more votes were recorded over the registered voters.

For instance, on figure number 69 which indicated votes cast at Eziama/Okpala (Umualum Village Square, Eziama), the total registered voters was 492, whereas the table showed that the APC scored 819 votes and PDP, 7 votes, giving a total of  334 votes more than the registered voters, without including the votes allegedly polled by the other candidates at the election.

Also, at page 22 of the petition on polling unit 282, the registered voters were 591, whereas the tabulation showed that APC polled 586 votes and PDP 9 votes, with a total of 4 votes more than the total registered voters, not including votes scored by the other candidates.

Similarly, at the same page 22 of the record, polling unit 285 (Obudi/Aro, Central Assembly Square, Unusable 11) with 449 registered voters, APC was credited with 780 votes and PDP with 4 votes, providing a total of 335 votes above the actual total registered voters at the unit.

In addition, figures obtained from page 79 of the record of appeal earlier stated and under item 384, APC scored 526 votes, while PDP was credited with 2 votes with total votes cast totalling 526, which is two votes above total registered voters in the area.

Both the EPT and the Appeal Court dismissed the petition for lacking in merit

But in a unanimous judgment delivered on 14th January and the 45-page written judgment read by Justice Kudirat Motonmori Olatokunmbo Kekere-Ekun, the Supreme Court upturned the two lower courts’ decisions and declared Sen. Uzodinma and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as duly-elected governor of Imo State.

The court said that votes from the disputed 388 polling units were wrongly excluded from the scores ascribed to Sen. Uzodinma, which was then added.

By relying on the faulty tabulation made by Sen. Uzodinma, the Supreme Court arrived at a figure of 950,952 total votes cast at the election, which is more than the total votes cast at the election totalling 823,743. This gave rise to 127,209 excess votes at the election as affirmed by the Supreme Court, which all through avoided mentioning figures regarding the votes cast for the disputants or the total registered voters and valid and invalid votes in the judgment.

However, in the second-order made in the judgment, Justice Kekere-Ekun declared: “It is hereby ordered that the appellant’s’ votes from the 388 polling units unlawfully excluded from the appellants’ score shall be added to the figure declared by the 3rd respondent (INEC)”.