Hope Uzodinma, Governor of Imo State with full assurance has boasted that his victory is permanent.
Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has expressed assurance that the Supreme Court would not reverse its judgement that sacked his predecessor, Emeka Ihedioha, and declared him the winner of the March 19, 2019 governorship election.
The apex court had, on January 14, removed Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party on the ground that he did not score the lawful majority votes in the Imo governorship race.
The court said it arrived at that decision after adding votes scored by Uzodinma in 388 polling units, which showed that he won the race.
It subsequently declared him the winner of the election and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to give him a Certificate of Return as elected Imo governor.
“We went to court with an issue of exclusion; we didn’t go to court complaining about election malpractices, violence and all of that. So, it is a peculiar case.
“My case can be likened to that of Jim Nwobodo vs Onoh and Omoboriowo vs Ajasin – It is the position of the Supreme Court that where an election has been announced at a polling unit, INEC is bound to collect the result and enter the results into the Form EC 8B.
“So, let INEC tell us what happened; I’m a lawmaker and I participated in the amendment of the Electoral Act. Election petitions are timed.
“As far as I’m concerned, the 60 days left for Supreme Court to look into that matter has expired. I’m not a lawyer but with my little knowledge of law making, I understand what is in the Electoral Act.”
The governor, who was accompanied by the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiohmole, during the visit, pledged to transform the living conditions of the inhabitants of the state.
He particularly promised a better life for Imo workers, saying that he had already paid all outstanding salaries of civil servants in the state.
“For 12 years, no governor visited the civil service secretariat, I was there two days ago and water has not been available to the secretariat for the past nine years.
“Two days after my visit, water is running there now. They have been re-connected to electricity and the generators are being worked on now.
“So, my mandate is about the people and my government will just be about the people and by the grace of God, I will not disappoint their expectations.
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“I am sure they will see good governance from a man with experience, working in consultations with political stakeholders in the state. I think we can do it differently and the narrative will be acceptable to the people,’’ he said.
Oshiomhole, who also spoke to the correspondents, explained that they were in the presidential villa to introduce Hope Uzodinma as the governor of Imo to President Buhari.
He said: “The governor of Imo, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, is not a stranger to the president. He has been part of the APC family; he has played very decisive roles when it mattered in the affairs of the party.
“So, the purpose of today’s meeting is just to introduce him as the new executive governor of Imo.
“President Buhari is very excited that we have established our foothold in the heart of the south east. And it coincides with the president’s vision of uniting the country.
“Now, we can truly say that we not only control the centre, we have governors in each of the six groups-political zones and I believe that is good for our party and for the government.’’
Imo: Ihedioha was never meant to be declared governor – Oshiomhole
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has said Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was not supposed to have been declared governor of Imo State from the onset.
The Chairman of the ruling party also placed the blame for the initial confusion and questions that trailed the Supreme Court judgement on the Imo State governorship election on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for flouting the provisions of the Constitution.
Comrade Oshiomhole stated these on Friday while addressing the State House Press Corps after presenting the Imo State governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, to President Muhammadu Buhari for the first time as a governor on the platform of the ruling party
According to the party Chairman, besides the fact that the INEC chose to exclude a huge number of validly cast votes in its final collation of the Imo State governorship election, the ground on which the Supreme Court eventually based its final decision, the decision of the electoral umpire to declare the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, Ihedioha, who failed to meet the constitutional condition of meeting a quarter of votes cast in two-thirds of the council areas of the state was a violation of the Constitution.
“I think there’s something the media has strictly refused to focus on and with respect, I think that a lot of the views that people parade are derived from what I call the electronic media lawyers. Is here any of us in this room, who is not aware that at the 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 votes cast, in at least two-thirds of the local government areas.
“On that criterion alone, there is no question that in the eyes of the law, Emeka Ihedioha ought not to have been declared because he had those numbers only in nine local government areas and of course you know the state has about 27 local government areas. So as journalists, is nine a two-thirds of 27?
“INEC completely and irresponsibly misbehaved by using a professor who seemed to be so senile that he didn’t know that nine is not two-thirds and. This is very serious and because they take advantage of the fact that once the INEC makes a pronouncement, even if the pronouncement is made by a lunatic in INEC, you can’t reverse it, you’ll have to go to court and this fits into PDP’s fixation; they’ll always say go to court.
“They just feel that it is their birthright to continue to rig elections. So the next time you see them talking, ask them how many local government did PDP score one-quarter of the votes in the total votes cast in how many local government.