The seven-member panel of justices today held that Emeka Ihedioha was not duly elected Governor.
Earlier in the day, the issue of candidacy of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Imo state has forced one of the candidates, Uche Nwosu, to withdraw his appeal at the Supreme Court.
Nwosu, who decamped to the Action Alliance (AA) before the election, was said to have also been presented by a faction of the APC as the party’s candidate in the election.
At the resumed hearing of the appeals from Imo State on Tuesday, Nwosu’s counsel, Solomon Umoh (SAN), informed the apex court panel that he has advised his client to withdraw since the apex court had on December 20 disqualified him for laying claim to two political party nominations. “My lordship, the issue has been addressed as to the validity of the APC candidate. It is not possible for APC to have two candidates,” Umoh said.
However, when Umoh indicated he would leave it to the discretion of the panel to decide whether Nwosu can still pursue his other appeal as the candidate of AA, the panel overruled him. “Nothing can bring him here. That matter is gone. Your client has no locus standi to bring this appeal,” Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun said.
As a result, the CJN struck out Nwosu’s appeal including the cross appeal against it brought by Governor Emeka Ihedioha through his counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN).
Reactions have trailed since the announcement of the jugement, the newly-declared governor of Imo state, Hope Uzodinma, has reacted to the Supreme Court judgement.
Reacting , Uzodinma said his stolen mandate has been restored by the Supreme Court.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Declan Emelumba, said that he had always had confidence in the judiciary.
The statement read: “Yes today, my mandate given to me by the people of Imo state has been restored by the highest court in the land.
“This meant that the victory given to me by the people, but denied me, has been restored. I give glory and thanks to God Almighty.”
Emelumba added that the new governor will arrive Imo State tomorrow and will address the people immediately.