February 17, 2020

Supreme Court got it wrong in Imo — PDP

Court restrains Debt Management Office from paying Vine Oil N628m

By Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja

The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,  Monday claimed that the Supreme Court was misled in sacking Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo state.

This is even as the party said there were facts not tabled before the apex court before it went ahead to declare the All Progressives Congress, APC candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma winner of the governorship poll.

National chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, who stated this in an interview with a select team of journalists in Abuja on Monday, said the PDP and Ihedioha would avail the justices of the facts at its sitting in the nation’s capital today.

Secondus said it was wrong for Uzodinma to claim that the time within which the court was permitted to entertain the case which emanated from election petition had passed.

READ ALSO: Imo state police command bans protests few hrs to supreme court judgement review

Recall that Uzodinma had, through his counsel, Damian Dodo(SAN), told journalists in Abuja on Sunday, that the Supreme Court no longer had powers to hear the application for the review of the January 14, 2020 judgment which sacked Ihedioha.

Secondus said, ‘‘We are not going to court for the sake of going there. Our returning to the court is based on justice. It has nothing to do with any technicalities or otherwise. We want the court to know that it was deceived to grant such a relief which was fraudulently obtained by those who asked that our governor be sacked.

‘‘The justices of the Supreme Court are human beings. They could be misled and they were misled. The judgment that removed Ihedioha was fraudulently obtained as could be seen in the papers filed by our candidate at the Supreme Court.

‘‘Both Uzodinma and the All Progressives Congress fraudulently misled the Supreme Court into believing that 213,495 votes were unlawfully excluded from the votes they scored in the governorship election, which was held on March 9, 2019.

‘‘If the lies told the Supreme Court are allowed to stay, then the total number of votes cast at the election will be more than the total number of votes accredited for the election. This cannot stay. We do not need to set a bad precedent.’’

He also argued that the number of voters accredited for the election was 823,743 while the total valid votes cast was 731,485.

‘‘Therefore, the inclusion of 213,695 votes for both the APC and Uzodinma would make the number of votes cast to be more than the number of accredited number of votes for the election,’’ Secondus added.

A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, had in its January 14, 2020 judgment sacked Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State while declaring Uzodinma as the winner of the 2019 governorship election in the state.

READ ALSO: Imo Governorship: Uzodinma asks Supreme Court to dismiss Ihedioha’s motion

Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, who read the lead judgment, had affirmed the appeal filed by Uzodinma that the votes polled in 388 out of the 3,523 polling units were excluded in the final results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. The court concurred with him and declared the ex-lawmaker winner of the poll.

Meanwhile, Secondus further said there was nothing to fear concerning the returning to the apex court by the APC on the governorship election in Bayelsa State.

He said the swearing-in of the PDP candidate in the governorship election in the state, Senator Douyle Diri is final, adding that the APC and its candidate in the election, David Lyon ought to know that the ticket of Lyon and his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, was one.

He said, ‘‘If one of the candidates, either the governorship or his running mate has issues with the law, both candidates will be affected because it is a joint ticket. That is elementary in politics,’’ he explained.