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Supreme Court Sacks Ihedioha, Declares Hope Uzodinma Imo Governor

The Supreme Court has nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha and has declared Senator Hope Uzodinma winner of the Mar 19 Governorship election in Imo state.

The apex court declared that the votes due to Senator Uzodinma was unlawfully excluded from the 318 polling units and be added to his votes.

In a unanimous decision by the 7 man panel delivered by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the submissions of a Principal witness who was on a subpoena to present results held that the lower court was wrong in its ruling.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja in November 2019 dismissed three appeals challenging the election of Ihedioha.

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A five-member panel of justices presided by Justice Oyebisi Omoyele dismissed the appeals by the Action Alliance (AA) candidate, Uche Nwosu; All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Hope Uzodinma and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ifeanyi Ararume challenging the election of Ihedioha.

While the appeal by the AA and APGA were dismissed by unanimous judgements, that of the APC was decided by a four to one split judgement.

The appellants had in their appeal against the judgement of the Imo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Owerri contended that the election was marred by corrupt practices, non-compliance with the electoral laws and failure to secure the majority of lawful votes cast.

But the appellate court upheld the findings and conclusions of the tribunal in the March 9 election where Ihedioha polled 273,404 votes to emerge victorious. The panel fined Ararume, Uzodinma and Nwosu N500,000 each.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC had declared Ihedioha winner of the guber poll in Imo as he polled 273, 404 to defeat the candidate of the Action Alliance (AA), Ugwumba Uche Nwosu who got 190, 364, leaving a difference of 83, 040.

The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Senator Ifeanyi Araraume got 114, 676, followed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Hope Uzodinma, who polled 96, 458.

In the results announced by the Returning Officer, Prof. Francis Otunta, out of 2, 210,008 registered voters, 823, 743 were accredited out of which the election had 741, 355 valid votes cast and 25, 130 rejected votes.

17th October 2021
Nigerian Pantagraph
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