BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – In a verdict that caught many by surprise, the Supreme Court of Nigeria on Tuesday, in a unanimous decision terminated the tenure of Hon Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as governor of Imo State.
In his place, the apex Court declared Senator Hope Uzodima, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who came 4th in the March 2019 Governorship election in Imo State with 96,458 votes as the validly elected governor of the State.
Hon Ihedioha, who was Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives from June 2011 to 2015 June, spent seven months, two weeks as Governor of Imo State from May 29, 2019 to January 14, 2020.
The Supreme Court in a unanimous ruling read by Justice Kekere-Ekun, who led a seven-man panel, declared that the votes due to Uzodinma from 318 polling units were unlawfully excluded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and accordingly added the votes.
The apex Court therefore ordered INEC to issue Senator Uzodinma a Certificate of Return with immediate effect.
The March 2019 Governorship results indicated that Hon Ihedioha got 273, 404 votes as against Senator Uzodinma that recorded 96,458 to place fourth position.
The result of the Imo Governorship 2019 election that was reversed by the Supreme Court is tabulated below:
PDP: Emeka Ihedioha 273,404
AA: Uche Nwosu 190,364
APGA: Ifeanyi Araraume 114,676
APC: Hope Uzodinma 96,458
YPP: Ikedi Ohakim 527.