BY GODWIN TSA
The sacked governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, has predicated his motion urging the Supreme Court to set aside its January 14, 2020 judgment that ousted him from office on the ground that it was fraudulently obtained by the incumbent governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma.
The apex court had in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun removed Iheadioha from office and ordered that Uzodinma of the All Progressive Congress (APC) be sworn in as the validly elected governor of Imo State.
But in a motion on notice filed pursuant to section 6(6) of the 1999 constitution, section 22 of the Supreme Court Act, 2004, and the inherent jurisdiction of the court, the former governor has asked the court to review it’s judgment on the ground that it was obtained by fraud.
The motion which was filed by the legal team of the former governor headed by Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN) was in respect of appeals Nos: SC. 1462/2019; SC/1470/2019; CA/OW/GOV/05/2019and petition No: EPT/GOV/IM/08/2019, between Senator Hope Uzodinma, All Progressive Congress (APC) and Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It is the contention of Ihedioha that the judgment is a nulity as it was obtained by fraud.
On this ground, Ihedioha submitted that “the Appellants/Respondents (Uzodinma), fraudulently misled this court into holding that a total of 213,495 votes were unlawfully excluded from the votes scored by the 1st Appellant/Respondent in the election.
He further submitted that “the 1st Appellant/Respondent admitted under cross-examination that he was the person (and not the 3rd Respondent [INEC] or any of its officials) who computed the result that gave him the 213,495 votes alleged to have been excluded from his total votes in the election.
“The fraudulent nature of the additional votes was demonstrated by the fact that the total votes cast as shown in the 1st Appellant/ Respondent’s computation was more than the total number of voters accredited for the election and in some polling units more than the total number of registered voters.
“The fraud was also demonstrated by the fact that the result computed by the 1st Appellant/Respondent showed only the votes of the 1st Applicant and the 1st Appellant/Respondent without specifying the votes scored by the other 68 candidates who participated in the election.”
He told the apex court that the fraud was further demonstrated by Exhibits 63RD1 to 63RD19 (INEC Forms EC40G) which show that there were no valid elections in the 388 polling units where the additional 213,495 votes claimed by the 1st Appellant/Respondent were allegedly generated.
Another reason to set aside of the judgment is that it was given per incuriam.
He stated that by Exhibit A1 (Form EC8D) the total number of voters accredited for the election was 823,743 while the total valid votes cast was 731,485.
The applicant contended that “with the inclusion of 213,695 votes for the 1st Appellant/Respondent and 1,903 to the votes of the 1st Applicant, as ordered by this court, the total number of votes cast at the election now stands at 953,083 (i.e. 731,485 + 213,695 + 1,903) making the total number of votes far in excess of the total number of voters accredited for the election, 129,340.
He submitted that it is unlawful for the total number of votes cast in an election to exceed the number of accredited voters and that illegality rendered the judgment sought to be set aside null and void.
The applicant argued that the Appellants/Respondents pleaded in paragraph 39 of their petition that a supplementary election should be conducted in the 388 polling units where the additional votes that created the illegality were alleged to have been cast and that pleading was binding on the Appellants/Respondents and the court.
SOURCE: SUN NEWS