The Court of Appeal has upheld the victory of Emeka Ihedioha in the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Imo State.
A five-man panel of the appellate court, led by Justice Oyebisi Omoleye, delivered the judgment on Tuesday following an appeal filed by the Action Alliance (AA), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) challenging the election of the governor.
The court affirmed the September 21 decision of the Imo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Owerri, that upheld Ihedioha’s election as winner of the election.
All appellants argued in their appeal that the governor did not obtain the constitutionally required one-quarter of the votes cast in at least, two-thirds of the 27 local government areas of the state, as provided under Section 179 of the Constitution.
The appellants, therefore, prayed the court to set aside the decision of the tribunal and declare them the winner of the election or in the alternative order a rerun.
The first judgment was on the appeal filed by Action Alliance and its candidate, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, a son in-law to immediate past governor Rochas Okorocha, urging the Court of Appeal to allow their appeal seeking the setting aside of the judgment of the tribunal.
However, in a unanimous judgment, the panel held that AA’s appeal was faulty and consequently dismissed the appeal just as they affirmed the judgment of the tribunal which upheld Ihedioha’s election.
The panel awarded cost of N500,000.00 against the appellant, in favour of Ihedioha and the PDP.
In the second judgment, which was an appeal filed by Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress, the appellate court said the appeal lacked merit and therefore was liable to be dismissed.
The panel awarded cost of N500,000 against the appellants and in favour of Ihedioha and PDP.
However, while four Justices on the panel unanimously upheld Ihedioha’s election, one dissented and allowed Uzodimma’s appeal, and consequently awarded N1million against the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Ihedioha and PDP respectively.
The court also dismissed the appeal filed by Senator Ifeanyi Arareume and the All Progressive Grand Alliance.
It awarded the cost of N500,000 against the appellants, in favour of the 2nd and 3rd respondents.