Fears Loom In Imo State As Supreme Will Decide Ihedioha’s Faith Today

Fears Loom In Imo State As Supreme Will Decide Ihedioha’s Faith Today

There was tension in  Imo State on Monday ahead of today’s (Tuesday)
sitting by the Supreme Court on an application filed by the immediate past governor of the state, Emeka Ihedioha, seeking a review of the apex court’s judgment on the state 2019 governorship election.

The state police command deployed armed policemen to the streets of Owerri, the state capital, to forestall any clash between supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress. It also banned any form of protests.

As the police beefed up security in Imo State, the PDP in a letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice   Tanko Muhammad, asked the CJN and six other justices of the apex court to recuse themselves from the hearing of the application by Ihedioha.

The opposition party said the justices of the Supreme Court were likely to be biased if they participated in the hearing of the application.

In the application, Ihedioha asks the apex court to set aside its January  14, judgment which annulled his election and declared the APC candidate in the 2019 election, Hope Uzodinma, as the winner of the poll.

A seven-man panel of the apex court led by the CJN had  in its January 14, 2020 judgment removed Iheodioha as the  Imo State governor  and declared Uzodinma as the winner of the last governorship election in the state.

Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, who read the lead judgment, had upheld Uzodinma’s appeal, ruling that the votes polled in 388 out of the 3,523 polling units were excluded in the final results declared by INEC in the state.

The apex court held that Uzodinma emerged winner of the election after the addition of the excluded votes.

But Ihedioha, through his lead counsel, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), a former Attorney General of the Federation, had on February 5, 2020 filed an application before the court seeking “an order  setting aside as a nullity” the January 14 judgment.

He argued in the application anchored on Section 6 (6) of Nigerian Constitution and Section 22 of the Supreme Court Act 2004, that the judgment was obtained by fraud or deceit.

On Monday, there was heavy deployment of policemen in Owerri, 24  hours before the Supreme Court sitting on Ihedioha’s application.

The police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, told one of our correspondents that the command had banned protests in the state.

Ikeokwu said that the decision to ban protests until further notice was to ensure that lives and property were protected.

He said that the protests being embarked on by various groups since the Supreme Court gave its judgment  on January 14, were “life-threatening”.

We hope everything go smoothly today.

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