The Supreme Court of Nigeria has dismissed an application filed by Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seeking to be issued a certificate of return as the rightful Governor of Imo State.
The court upheld the ruling that declared Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the duly elected governor of Imo State.
Justice Tijjani Abubakar, delivering the unanimous judgment of the seven-member panel, stated that Ihedioha’s application lacked merit and was unnecessary and vexatious.
The Supreme Court also awarded a cost of N40 million against Ihedioha’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, for bringing the application before the court.
PDP had urged the Supreme Court to hold that “both the AA and APC did not sponsor and/or field any candidate for the governorship election held in Imo State on March 9, 2019, in view of the double nomination of the appellant/respondent by the two political parties aforesaid and his subsequent disqualification as their gubernatorial candidate, as found by this honourable court in its judgement.”
The party said that given that Governor Uzodinma did not contest the election as an independent candidate, there was no legal basis for him to be recognised as the validly elected governor of Imo State.
According to the applicants, the PDP and the Action Alliance (AA), there was no basis for the recent election held in the state on November 11, since Ihedioha had yet to conclude his tenure.
Though the appeal was initially brought before the apex court by Mr. Uche Nwosu, who was the governorship candidate of the Action Alliance, AA, in the 2019 election, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its own candidate, Emeka Ihedioha, who won the said election, applied to be joined as interested parties in the matter.
More to follow…