Nigeria Will Boil If APC Questions INEC, Supreme Court Injustices - Oshiomole - AMEBO ONLINE NEWSPAPER


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Nigeria Will Boil If APC Questions INEC, Supreme Court Injustices - Oshiomole

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• Ihedioha's attempt to reverse Supreme Court judgement based on falsehood - Uzodinma

BREAKING: Tremor in Abuja as Supreme Court sacks Ihedioha, declares Uzodinma Imo gov

Imo State governor, Hope Uzodinma has said he is unperturbed by the return of ousted governor, Emeka Ihedioha to Supreme Court to seek a review of the judgment that removed him from office.

He described such moves as based on falsehood, adding that as far as he was concern, the case had been done and dusted.

Recall that the court had on January 14, 2020 sacked Ihedioha of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on the grounds that he did not score the lawful majority votes in the March 9, 2019 governorship election.

The apex court, after adding the cancelled results of the 388 polling units to the votes scored by Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC), ordered that he be immediately sworn in as the duly elected governor.

But speaking to State House correspondents after he was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari, by the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, he said the 60 days left for the Supreme Court to look into the matter had already expired, hence Ihedioha was wasting his time.

Asked if he was not worried that based on Supreme Court’s computation of votes outnumbered those who voted and that it might likely reverse itself, Uzodinma said: “Well, I am not concerned, the reasons being that 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. 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 Onoh, and Omoboriwo and Ajasin. The position of the Supreme Court is that where an election has been announced in a polling unit, INEC is bound to collect 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 law maker, 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, going back to the Supreme Court I don’t know what that…I am not a lawyer anyway but with my little knowledge of lawmaking, I understand what is in the Electoral Act. So, the Supreme Court is not a market square that anytime you want you begin to go there.”

Also speaking on the issue, Oshiomhole said the electoral body had been getting away with blue murder because Nigerians are not interrogating it’s processes that beg for answers.

According to the ruling party national chairman, “I think there is something the media have simply refused to focused on. With all due respect, a lot of the views that people parrot are derived from what I called electronic media lawyers.

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 2/3 of a local government. On that criterion alone there is no question in the eyes of the law; Emeka Ihedioha ought not to have been declared (the winner) because he had those numbers only in nine local government areas and of course you know you have about 27 local government areas, 2/3 is 15. So, as journalists, is nine a 2/3 of 27 local governments?

“So INEC completely and irresponsibly misbehaved by using a professor who seems to be so senile that he didn’t know that nine is not 2/3. This is very serious. And because they take advantage of the fact that once they make pronouncements, even if the pronouncement was made by a lunatic in INEC, you can’t reverse it, you have to go to court. And it fits into PDP’s fixation, rig and let them 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 1/4 of the vote in the total vote cast. That is not in the provision of the Electoral Act, that is in the expressed provision of the Nigerian constitution.

“I think all of you should read the Nigerian constitution and ask INEC to give you the results of Imo, even their own version, even excluding that of Governor Hope Uzodinma, you will find that Emeka Ihedioha ought not to have been declared (winner).

“For me, it shows that nobody is interrogating INEC and that is why they are getting away with blue murder. And this is minus the fact that INEC has not explained why it did not collate votes that were certified and signed by the presiding officers, appointed by INEC in each of the 388 polling units. If there is something wrong with those votes, INEC is on record to having had course to cancelled unit votes where it was dissatisfied. Those votes were not cancelled, it just chose to ignore them.”

On the opposition protesting the Supreme Court judgement, Oshiomhole said the ruling party had suffered a number of injustices from both the INEC and Supreme Court, but had chosen to ignore (all that) for the sake of democracy.

He said: “When I see people protesting, that is my primary constituency, to do protests but I don’t run after a mad man when he is naked and I have to join him to run because I want to make a point. That is the reason we just allowed them to do the sort of thing they were doing. Have you also found out what happened in Sokoto? There are a lot of issues there that INEC cannot defend but we have to leave with the pain. Look at Rivers, for some technical reasons, we were told we cannot even have candidates, and nobody asked questions. But because we are the ruling party, we cannot just begin to go to the streets and begin to protests those things. You also know of another state, Zamfara, where we won governorship, Senate, House of Representatives, but the Supreme Court said our primaries were not perfect; therefore those who were not on the ballot box were declared, so we lived with that pain.

“If it is about mobilizing people to attack, we would have mobilized our supporters to the Supreme Court but that will not be a responsible behaviour in a democracy. So we lived with the pain because we understand that, we operate under the principle of separation of powers. So please don’t accept those half truths that PDP is parading.

“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? The 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. Because, whereas the law recognizes the power of INEC to make bylaws and those bylaws are enforceable in court and there are judicial pronouncements holding those bylaws, when they wanted to allow these PDP states to be returned, their elections having been nullified by elections petition tribunal, nullified by the Court of Appeal on the basis that they did not comply with INEC guidelines as regards to using card reader, the Supreme Court looking for escape route for PDP, decided that the use of card reader, yes though in the INEC guidelines is not in the law. Can everything possibly be in the law?

“The same court recognized the fact that the power of INEC to make rules and regulations for smooth conduct of elections. We have stomached all of these because as they say two wrongs don’t make a right. If we chose to question on the streets of Nigeria, all of the impunity we have seen that have affected APC negatively coming from our courts, there will be no peace anywhere.

“But we have said that somebody must bear the price of peace that is why we chose to keep quiet; it doesn’t mean PDP has any valid case. Ask Emeka Ihedioha how many local government areas did he score 1/4 votes, these are not classified matters.”

Sun Newspaper 

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