Supreme Court Nullification Of Uche Nwosu’s Candidature & Matters Arising
By Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu
No More Hope for Hope
Awaited Imo Guber S’Court Judgment, Now A Mere Academic Exercise
APC Lifting of Okorocha’s Suspension, An Endorsement of Do-or-Die Politics, Anti-party Activitism
The recent landmark judgment of the Supreme Court nullifying the candidature of Sen. Rochas Okorocha’s son-in-law, Uche Nwosu at the last Imo State gubernatorial election has become a catalyst to a chain of reactions. While these reactions favoured some, it has thrown others in to deep anguish and mourning. That notwithstanding, the apex court has given it’s judgment, without sentiments, and that is what matters most.
The implication of this judgment is that Nwosu was holding two tickets. One of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the other of Action Alliance (AA) as at the date of the election. As a result, he ended up, like the proverbial bat, not being a candidate of either of the two political parties. Consequently, since the apex court has ruled that Nwosu was the authentic candidate of APC at that election, it then means that Sen. Hope Uzodinma’s candidature as APC guber candidate is invalid.
Thus, both Nwosu and Uzodinma’s pending appeal at the Supreme Court challenging the election of Gov Emeka Ihedioha has been torpedoed. Leaving only Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume’s case afloat. This means there is no more hope for Hope and Nwosu to clinch the governorship of the State, at least not at this time.
This leaves one again to begin to wonder aloud, how hopeful Ararume’s case could be. Ararume and his party, APGA, had in their petition at the Tribunal argued that Ihedioha did not obtain the constitutional one – quarter of the votes in at least two – thirds in the 27 Local Government areas of the State, in line with section 179 of the Constitution.
They had in addition alleged massive irregularities, hijacking and diversion of electoral materials and substantial compliance with the Electoral Act. However, the Tribunal held that the case of the petitioner was unmeritorious as they failed to call relevant witnesses and adduce credible evidence to prove their case.
Not satisfied, Ararume proceeded to the Appeal Court where his petition was also dismissed for lack of merit. Now, it’s certain that Ararume’s appeal at the Supreme Court will definitely fail, because nothing much has changed in his favour with the case he presented at the lower courts. Rather, Ihedioha has become the ultimate beneficiary of the judgment nullifying Nwosu and by default, Uzodinma’s candidature.
This is because the sacking of Uche Nwosu by the Supreme Court also has implications for the 25% issue. The Action Peoples Party (APP) has just applied to INEC to lawfully expunge all of the votes, about 190,000 votes, credited to Uche Nwosu in the election. INEC is mandated by law to oblige the APP of their application, following the verdict of the Supreme Court.
When that is done, Imo PDP will finally put paid on any issue pertaining to 25%. That will be due to the obvious fact that Imo PDP would have garnered additional LGAs also. Based on the foregoing, Ararume’s pending appeal at the Supreme Court has been rendered a mere academic exercise.
It is obvious that Okorocha’s illicit quest to secure a third term by proxy and in order to apparently cover all his misdeeds in office, was the reason for his desperation to install his son-in-law Nwosu as Governor. When one considers this judgment on Nwosu’s multiple candidacy, It is an undeniable fact that the APC may have lost any chances of winning the State at the guber election, due to Okorocha’s desperate bid to install Nwosu as governor, coupled with his own lacklustre performance as Governor.
It’s aposite to also note that Okorocha’s desperation which led to his abandoning his party, in a brazen act of anti-party, to openly campaign for Nwosu who had decamped to the Action Alliance (AA) in pursuit of his jaundiced guber ambition is legendary, howbeit, appalling. The Desperado even went further to rub the “ash” of anti-party on the face of President Buhari, his wife and other party stalwarts, when they came to Owerri to campaign for the party’s guber candidate. What a shame!
Considering all these fact, one can now say that the recent decision of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) to lift the suspension of Okorocha for engaging in anti-party activities was ill-advised and a clear endorsement of do-or-die politics and anti-party activitism. Expectedly, many pundits have predicted that the APC will reap the fruits of this mistake come 2023, as Okorocha will definitely work against the party should his unmerited bid to clinch the party’s ticket for the 2023 presidential election fail.
It must however be noted here, that this is the first time in the history of the State that a pending guber appeal at the Supreme Court would be rendered inconsequential by the judgment of the same Supreme Court. Now the litigation distractions are virtually over, it is time for Gov Ihedioha to concentrate on his quest to rebuild Imo. And it is incumbent on all good citizens of the State, to join hands in the entire process.
However, in all these things, the turn of events in the judicial battle to oust Gov Ihedioha as governor of Imo State has clearly demonstrated once again that his election has the imprimatur of Divinity. No one can fight God and win. Therefore, anyone fighting Gov Ihedioha is also fighting God’s anointed, for whom God has blessed, no man can curse.
Imo Bu Nke Anyi nile!!!
By Ekene Bob-Ekechukwu Esq