By Yemi Itodo
The Supreme Court judgment was not totally bad. It was done within the ambit of law.
Section 179(2b) of the 1999 constitution was not duly followed in announcing Ihedioha. I told a lot of persons at the Supreme Court and National Assembly premises yesterday morning that the court would nullify his election, even though I’m not a prophet.
I knew this by midnight Monday! I also saw it in my dream.
Ihedioha didn’t meet the constitutional requirement of pulling 25% of total votes cast in the least 2/3rd of the entire local government areas. Two-Third of local government areas in Imo is 18 LGAs, which means, Ihedioha should have garnered 1/4 of votes cast in each of the 18 LGAs that make the 2/3rd.
Secondly, the Owerri Zone, especially, Mbaise, the stronghold of Ihedioha recorded huge computation of figures during collation in favour of PDP, whereas, the Orlu zone, where Uzodinma hails from recorded poor votes, with the Returning Officer canceling votes of 388 polling units from the zone.
Despite that, the Returning Officer announced Emeka Ihedioha! Yes. It happens in politics. It’s the survival of the fittest. Everybody cheats. It is who plays the card well that takes the day. More so, the Professor who returned the election hails from Mbaise, the same local government with His Excellency, Ihedioha.
The matter went to Tribunal, Ihedioha, who enjoys the support of his people in Imo, won. He also dealt with them at the Appellate Court.
The Court of first instance and the Appellate Court didn’t see any merit in the argument of APC, AA and APGA candidates.
It took the brilliance of one Judge at the Court of Appeal (name not known), who stood to read a minority judgement, by bringing out a calculator to compute votes from the 388 polling units canceled from Orlu zone and averred that, Uzodinma of APC, not Ihedioha of PDP, should have been returned elected, ab initio.
Other Justices at the appeal panel criticised the minority judgement, saying the Judge didn’t attend the hearing and conference, which was true. The Judge was down with fever during the proceedings, only appeared for the judgement.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court relied on the minority judgement of the Court of Appeal and on that premises the verdict was given.
FROM 4TH POSITION TO DOUGLAS HOUSE
Now, on why the man who came 4th emerged winner from the Supreme Court. It’s very simple, the Supreme Court Judges, (though in an usual manner), took their calculators and computed results from the 338 polling units and added to Uzodinma, it’s a winning margin and he meets the constitutional requirements, so, no need for a rerun.
What baffles me is how the Supreme Court will go into the basis, by scouting for votes from polling units, and not assess the judgement of the courts below. It remains a mystery, precedence and a landmark. I wish same would happen in the case of Kano next week.
WHAT YOU WOULD NOT SEE IN THE NEWS:
It was not only votes from Orlu zone that were cancelled by the Returning Officer. Votes from Okigwe zone too were underrepresented, if those votes were added, Ifeanyi Ararume, who came third would have had his cumulative votes shot out.
But what do I even know? I learnt he is allegedly moving to APC soon and will be the next Senator that will replace Late Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu. He has also reconciled with the Iberiberism Maestro, Okorocha.
Talking about Okorocha, his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, the candidate of AA who came second in the said election, should have benefited from the judicial scavenging at the Supreme Court. But, again, what do I know?
First, they made him to decamp 2 days to the judgement; to which party? Don’t ask me.
By the virtue of his defection, he stood no ground to benefit from the judgement, as at the time it was been dished. He was among those who cooked the food, but some who were more hungry than him, edged him out.
I doubt it, if Nwosu was still a member of AA and a potential beneficiary of the cancelation of Ihedioha’s mandate, the Apex Court would still go ahead to nullify that election!
What a lot of us don’t know too, is that, his father-in-law, who is now resting at the Senate, needs to ‘rest in peace’, without any threats of EFCC, either from the FG or from the young Governor, Ihedioha, who has sworn to fight him and drag him before EFCC.
It was very possible to trade his son-in-law for his peace, respect and in line with the ongoing reconciliation. But I don’t have proof of this!
But I bet you, Nwosu won’t be stranded politically, between now and 2023; either at the federal level controlled by his new found party, or at his own state, where they already have a family structure, holding grips on critical government infrastructures.
The ticket of Ifeanyi Ararume too will not cut!!
I will only sit in my farm in Otukpa, to watch the unfolding drama.
(Yemi Itodo contributes this from Otukpa, Benue State).