Hope Uzodinma, governor of Imo state, says Emeka Ihedioha’s reasons for seeking reversal of the supreme court judgement are based on falsehood, insisting that the time for election petitions has lapsed.
The apex court had sacked PDP’s Ihedioha as governor and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to return Uzodinma, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The judgement had been rejected by the PDP and the party is calling for a reversal.
But speaking with journalists at the state house on Friday after he was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by Adams Oshiomhole, APC chairman, Uzodinma said he went to court over “exclusion and not malpractice”, adding that seeking a reversal of the judgement is needless.
“Going back to the supreme court is based on falsehood. Because the number of accredited votes outside the excluded votes is what we are talking about,” he said.
“But if you are going to court, you must go to court to discuss or talk about number of accredited voters including the excluded polling units. If you compute the number of accredited voters inclusive of the accredited voters, the figures are correct.
“We went to court with the issue of exclusion. We didn’t go to court with the business of election malpractices, violence and all of that. So, it is a peculiar case. My case can be likened to that of Jim Nwobodo and CC Onoh, and Omoboriowo and Ajasin (in the second republic). The position of the supreme court is that where an election has been held in a polling unit, INEC is bound to collate the result and enter the result into the form EC8B.
“We went there with two documents, the Form EC8A that was excluded and Form EC8B where result was supposed to have been entered and they saw clearly that it was left blank. So, let INEC tell us what happened. Because, going back to supreme court… and, of course, like you know I am a lawmaker, I participated in the debate of the amendment of the electoral act.
“Election petitions are timed. As far as I am concerned the 60 days left for supreme court to look into that matter has already expired. So supreme court is not a market square that anytime you want you begin to go there.”
Also commenting on the matter, Oshiomhole said Nigerians should be interrogating the electoral process as Ihedioha didn’t meet the requirement in the first place.
“Now, is there any of us in this room that does not know that at a time Emeka Ihedioha was declared, even the returning officer could not show that he scored the constitutional requirement of at least one quarter of the total vote cast in at least two-thirds of a local government,” he said.
The APC chairman accused INEC of being irresponsible by using an incompetent official as returning officer.
The PDP had taken its protest to the US embassy over sack of Ihedioha, but reacting Oshiomhole said his party had also suffered a number of injustices from both the INEC and supreme court, but had chosen to ignore for the sake of democracy.
“I think this is important, when I saw Secondus leading that protest, I was tempted to tell him who is the real protestant. How did Wike, Emmanuel Udom and Dickson become governors? supreme court ordered the previous leadership, they choose to completely dismiss the use of card reader, that is what has brought a lot of mischief now into our electoral system,” he said.