- Implores apex court to preserve integrity
- Uzodinma: Go and prepare for 2023
Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Amby Uneze in Owerri
Less than 48 hours after filling a review of the judgment sacking its candidate, Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State at the Supreme Court, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of moves to sway the apex court to jettison demands by Nigerians for a sincere review of the allegedly defective judgment on the Imo governorship election.
The PDP, which sternly cautioned the APC to stop its blackmail and lobbying of the judiciary, however urged the Supreme Court to seize the opportunity of the review to right the wrong and not persevere in error.
But the new governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, has advised the PDP and its sacked candidate, Ihedioha to stop wasting time about the current mandate but start an early preparation for the 2023 governorship election in the state.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP berated APC leaders particularly, its embattled National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, for attacking Nigerians and blackmailing the judiciary with distortions, manipulations and misrepresentations of facts aimed at diverting attention as well as cowing the Supreme Court from delivering justice in the impending review.
“It is worrisome that the national chairman of a political party will be making a public boast of a daylight political robbery and parading those, who don’t mean well for the future of Imo State.
“While the PDP notes that it is a waste of time to join issues with Adams Oshiomhole in his blackmail and misinformation, our party affirms that our demand remains incontestable as the Supreme Court itself had in the past reversed its judgment after realising defects and subversion of justice in its judgment. The case of Johnson vs Lawanson (1971) 7 NSCC 82 is a clear precedence.
“We, in the PDP believe in the finality of the judgment of the Supreme Court. But we also believe that the Honorable Justices of the Supreme Court possess inherent right and powers to right every wrong that may be discovered in its judgment arising, as it were, from human errors such as happened in the Imo State judgment,” PDP said.
The party said it was confident that the apex court would not be persuaded by the ill motivated campaigns of blackmail launched by the Chairman of the APC from seizing the initiative presented by the application of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and the PDP to delete this unjust page from the annals of clean records of justice.
“Our Party and Nigerians belief will restore and strengthen the confidence of every well-meaning Nigerian in the judiciary as the beacon of justice, vanguard of the rule, democratic principles, the sanctity of the electoral process and universal suffrage as well as the last hope of the common man always represented by a virile opposition which the PDP represents”.
The opposition party however maintained that it envisaged a review of the judgment would benefit all in many ways.
“Aligning the result of the election with the total accredited votes, which form the benchmark for all results in every electoral contest by correcting the ugly and unprecedented situation, where the result as laid down by the Supreme Court is more than the total accredited votes.
“It will also correct the illogicality of having two governorship candidates for the APC in the same election as the apex Court had earlier ruled that Uche Nwosu was the validly nominated candidate of the APC and not Senator Hope Uzodinma declared by the Court as the winner of the same election on the platform of the same APC.
“The Supreme Court had also disqualified Uche Nwosu, the candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) from the election for having acquired the governorship ticket of two political parties: the APC and the AA,” it stated.
It therefore reiterated that a review of the Imo governorship was inevitable, because by virtue of the earlier judgment, not only was Uzodimma not a candidate, the judgment also nullified all votes credited to APC and AA as they did not have candidates in the election.
PDP said it was aware that the APC was mortally afraid of the review, because they knew justice would be served.
“This is why the APC has resorted to blackmailing the judiciary and seeking ways to divert public attention from the issue at stake”.
The Party therefore urged the Supreme Court to be courageous in conducting the review as a duty it owes to redeem the image of the judiciary as well as save the nation from impeding political and constitutional crisis.
Meanwhile, Uzodinma, who admonished the leadership and members of the PDP to prepare for the 2023 election rather than protest over split milk, said the 2019 Imo State governorship election cases had ended with the judgment of the Supreme Court and that PDP should see the finality of the case.
This was as the Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Chiji Collins, has disclosed that the APC now has 26 of the 27 members of the state legislature.
Uzodinma, who spoke through his deputy, Prof Placid Njoku, yesterday in Owerri, during a solidarity rally by supporters of APC, said all the cases pertaining to the 2019 gubernatorial elections in the state had ended on January 14, 2020 with the unanimous judgment of the seven justices of the Supreme Court.
“Elections are over and the court cases and litigations ended on January 14, 2020 with the apex court judgment, which retrieved our stolen mandate from Peoples Democratic party and Emeka Ihedioha and so that issue has ended.
“The seven Justices of the apex court in a unanimous judgment settled every matter concerning the 2019 Imo State governorship matter and the issue has been settled by God. So, the Peoples Democratic Party and their rented crowd should stop disturbing the peace of the state.
“Ihedioha and his Peoples Democratic Party have another opportunity of contesting and losing again in 2023, because this government is for eight years. Already, what we have done in two weeks has surpassed what the Ihedioha government had done in eight months.”
Njoku maintained that Imo state was happy with the coming of Uzodinma, who has reconnected the state with the national power grid, with the backing of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Speaker, Chiji, said the declaration of Uzodinma has brought a breath of fresh air as the state Assembly has regained its independence, which he alleged was usurped by Ihedioha.
He claimed that the gale of defection that had swept through the state legislature was because members wanted to work with Governor Uzodinma.
“This is the first time that the state legislature has been truly independent in taking care of their needs. Immediately Senator Hope Uzodinma emerged as the governor, there was confusion in the House of Assembly and before you know it, nine members defected to APC.
“At the second sitting of the House, another eight also defected to APC. Today, we have 26 out of 27 members already in the APC, because everyone wants to work with Senator Hope Uzodinma as the governor of the state. This shows the kind of person he is,” he stated.
Also, Chairman of the APC in the state, Chief Marcellinus Nlemigbo, warned the PDP and their supporters to stop disturbing the peace of the state and wait for their time again.
“The Peoples Democratic Party should stop disturbing the peace of the state and wait for their time. When the Tribunal and Appeal court declared him winner, we did not protest. So they should stop heating up the state.
“Imo people are happy with Governor Hope Uzodinma, because he is the real driver and not a bus conductor, who stole his master’s car key. God has already blessed Imo with the coming of Hope,” he said.