- Floors Nwosu, Araraume, Uzodinma at Appeal Court
Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo State has said the Rebuild Imo Agenda of his administration is on course, just as he has dedicated his victory at the Court of Appeal to God.
In a statement shortly after the Court affirmed his election as the duly elected Governor of Imo State, Ihedioha, also thanked party members, the good people of Imo State and the learned justices who vindicated his mandate.
“I wish to convey my sincere thanks to Almighty God over the disposal of the Imo State Governorship appeal. The learned justices once again vindicated the mandate delivered to us by the good people of Imo State.
“We also tender our gratitude to the good people of Imo State, the PDP party faithful and our teeming supporters for your prayers, solidarity and faith all through the process of the election petitions tribunal hearings and subsequent appeal.”
Governor Ihedioha also said the judiciary has again demonstrated it is the last bastion of justice and liberty in a democracy, stating that, “Their judgement today has reaffirmed our confidence in our judicial system
He reiterated that he bears no ill against those with different political leanings who challenged the mandate freely given to him by the good people of Imo State.
“The Rebuild Imo Agenda is on course. I bear none of my adversaries any ill will. I harbour neither bitterness nor rancour. Just as I am, without no other plea, than my earlier invitation that they should come and together, let us Rebuild Imo State”.
Affirming that effort to rebuild the State is a collective one, he noted that he is not unmindful that there would be opposition on our path.
“While I affirm that the effort is a collective one, I am not unmindful that there would be opposition on our path. But with God on our side, we shall rise above every mountain of antagonism, overcome layers of impediments and cross every Rubicon to deliver to our people quality infrastructure, functional welfare amenities and a prosperous economy.
“During the electioneering campaigns, I did assure our people that Imo State, under my watch would stand firmly on the rule of law. Indeed, this judgement today, once again, has strengthened our resolve to be guided by this solemn promise”
“Together we shall make Imo great again. There is therefore “no victor, nor vanquished. “A horse is prepared for the day of battle but victory is of the lord” Proverbs 21:31″, he declared.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, Tuesday, in a unanimous judgement, upheld the decision of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which affirmed the election of Governor Ihedioha and dismissed the appeals filed by Chief Uche Nwosu of Action Alliance, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against the governor with a fine of N500, 000 against of each the appellants.
Delivering judgment, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of the candidate of the AA Party, Nwosu, for incompetence and awarded the N500,000 cost against him.
In a unanimous decision, the five member panel, also struck out the petition of APC candidate Uzodinma with a fine of N500,000 against him.
It said, “the tribunal cannot be faulted for striking out the petition of the petitioner… therefore the appeal is lacking in merit and it is hereby dismissed and a N500,000 cost awarded against him”.
The Court described as an “absurdity”, for Uzodinma who came 4th in an election to ask to be declared winner.
On Araraume’s appeal, the Court held that his proof of evidence is lame, moreso that the opinion of the trial Tribunal was impeccable in dismissing his petition. It also averred that documents were not unbundled, but were dumped at the Tribunal and as such the petitioner, just like his appeal, did not discharge the burden of proof.
Consequently the court, dismissing his appeal, said, ” the appeal is a failure and dismissed accordingly, and a cost of N500,000 awarded against him.”
The Court held that the three appeals challenging the declaration of Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), lacked merit.
The appellants had challenged the emergence of the PDP candidate as winner of the March, 9-governorship election on the grounds that the election was marred by irregularities.
The Tribunal had held that candidate of the Action Alliance, AA, Uche Nwosu, Ifeanyi Ararume of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, and Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress, APC, failed to establish their petitions against governor Ihedioha.
The Tribunal had also in their judgement unanimously held that Sen. Uzodinma of the APC was unable to prove his allegation that wrongful collation of results by INEC led to Ihedioha’s emergence as winner of the governorship election.
Recall that the Peoples Democratic Party candidate, Emeka Ihedioha, emerged the Imo State governor-elect, polling 273,404 votes to defeat 69 other candidates including his closest rival, Uche Nwosu of Action Alliance who scored 190,364 votes.
Announcing the results the All Progressives Grand Alliance candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, polled 114,676 followed by the All Progressives Congress candidate, Senator Hope Uzodimma, who scored 96,458 votes.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal had, upheld the disqualification of the candidate of the Action Alliance, Uche Nwosu on the grounds that he was not qualified to contest the election because he had double nomination from two political parties.
Also the Supreme Court, in an appeal brought to it by Action Alliance against its candidate Uche Nwosu, accepted the withdrawal of the party from the suit filed against Governor Ihedioha by Uche Nwosu, citing the agreement it entered with the PDP under the platform of Coalition of Union of Political Parties prior to the election.