2019 Imo guber: Supreme Court dismisses Ihedioha’s suit to sack Uzodimma

Attempts to sack Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State from office failed, yesterday, as the Supreme Court declined jurisdiction to adjudicate on an application to that effect.

In a unanimous ruling, a five-member panel of the court, led by Inyang Okoro, dismissed an application that sought to remove Uzodimma from office on the premise that he was not validly nominated by the All Progressives Congress (APC), to contest the election that led to his first tenure in 2019.

The application further sought to invalidate the years that Uzodimma spent in office as the governor of Imo State.

Though the appeal was initially brought before the apex court by Uche Nwosu, who was the governorship candidate of Action Alliance (AA), in the 2019 election, however, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Emeka Ihedioha, who won the said contest, applied to be joined as interested parties in the matter.

Specifically, the PDP and Ihedioha urged the Supreme Court to give effect to its 2019 verdict that disqualified Nwosu on the grounds that he was nominated by both the AA and the APC to contest the election.

The appellants argued that if the apex court recognised Nwosu as candidate of the APC, there was no legal basis for its subsequent judgment that sacked Ihedioha and declared Uzodimma who was also sponsored by the same APC, as the valid winner of the governorship poll.

Consequently, the PDP urged the apex court to restore its candidate, Ihedioha, back to office, since the APC was precluded from sponsoring two candidates in the election.

In an affidavit it filed in support of the application, which was deposed to by a legal practitioner, Adedamola Farokun, PDP, averred: “The third respondent/applicant (PDP) is neither in any way seeking a review of the valid, subsisting and well considered judgment of this court delivered in this appeal in 2019, nor seeking a review of the judgment of this court delivered on January 14, 2020 in SC/462/2019, but humbly seeking that this court give effect to its judgment delivered on December 20, 2019.

“That this court has the constitutional, inherent powers and jurisdiction to grant the reliefs sought and give effects to its judgment. That it is in the interest of justice for this court to exercise its wide discretionary powers in favour of granting this application as prayed.”

The deponent, Farokun, averred that Uzodimma was not the candidate of the APC based on the court’s judgment that Nwosu was nominated by both the APC and the AA.

PDP 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 judgment.”

It argued that in view of the fact that Governor Uzodimma 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.

The applicants contended that there was no basis for the recent election that was held in the state on November 11, since Ihedioha had yet to conclude his tenure.

However, when the matter came up, the apex court held that it had no jurisdiction to entertain the appeal which it described as frivolous and highly vexatious. It proceeded to award a personal cost of N40 million against Mike Ozehkome, who represented the PDP and Ihedioha in the matter for filing frivolous motions before the court in respect of Imo governorship tussle decided in 2019. He is to personally pay the N40 million fine to the four respondents he dragged before the court.

Though the case was initially fixed for hearing in October, it was later deferred till after the recent governorship poll in the state that led to Uzodimma’s re-election.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top