Amby Uneze in Owerri
Imo State was yesterday thrown into celebration mood as the news of the Supreme Court dismissing the pre-election case brought before it by Samuel Anyanwu filtered into town.
Anyanwu had challenged the emergence of Imo State Governor, Chief Emeka Ihedioha, as the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The appeal, which was heard by a panel of five Justices of the Supreme Court, presided over by Hon. Justice G. Okoro, held that the allegations of fraud and over voting pleaded by the appellant were not proved.
The Supreme Court held that the appeal ought not to have come to the court at all, which further held that the concurrent findings by the lower courts were unassailable, and also agreed with the Court of Appeal, Owerri Division, and affirmed the judgement of the trial Federal High Court in Owerri, the state capital.
In the lead judgement by the Justice Okoro-led panel which dismisses the appeal, the court awarded costs of N200, 000 against the appellant (Sam Anyanwu) in favour of Ihedioha and the PDP.
Anyanwu had approached the court seeking to nullify the victory of Ihedioha on the allegations of over voting and thuggery, which he alleged swayed the polls against him, and that he should be declared the authentic winner of the primary election.
Ihedioha, on the party’s primary election conducted in Owerri on October 1, polled 1,723 to defeat Anyanwu, who scored 1,282.
While Anyanwu rejected the result of the primary election, other aspirants namely: Athan Achonu, Jude Njoku, Chukwuma Ekomaru, George Ejike, congratulated Ihedioha and also worked for his victory at the March 9, 2019, governorship poll.
Reacting on the development, Ihedioha described the judgement as a victory for democracy and dedicated it to God and the people of Imo State.
The governor again extended the olive branch to Anyanwu to join hands with him to rebuild the state and restore its lost glory.
According to the governor, “Imo State is our home and we have no other place to go. I extend, once again, my hand of fellowship to my brother, Senator Sam Anyanwu, to join us as we make genuine and deliberate efforts towards rebuilding our state, which we met in a state of near-collapse.”