Uzodinma: How Law Prevailed Over Number In Imo
ElevateNews takes a look at the Supreme Court judgment on Imo governorship election.
Political parties and their candidates will continue to contest election results for many years to come in Nigeria. This is due to lack of proper electoral process by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Also, the independence of the INEC will always be questioned by political parties and the general public as long as the commission depends on successive administration for funds.
Since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, thousands of elections results had been contested in courts and a few had been won by the petitioners.
Political parties and their candidates do not only prepare for elections, but they warm up for litigations before, during and after every poll. As a matter of fact, some governors actually won the polls through the court, not by the number of votes.
A good example is the former Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who won his first term in the court likewise Dr. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.
In Edo State, the former Governor Adams Oshiomhole also won his first term through litigation. The former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi won his first term using the supremacy of the court to remove the then governor Dr. Chris Ngige.
The most recent is the removal of Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State and the declaration of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Hope Uzodinma as the governor by the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The judgement, as described by a Professor of Law, Akin Oyebode is a reflection of the poverty of the electoral process by the INEC.
The Supreme Court judgement declared Uzodinma the winner with over 300, 000 votes, even though his initial votes were put at 96, 000 plus against the former Governor who polled over 200,000 votes in the governorship election of March 2019.
The irony of the judgement is that Uzodinma who polled the fourth-lowest votes among the five candidates overtook the three other candidates to win at the Supreme Court.
The judgement was based on the fact that the INEC must have compromised by refusing to count the votes in over 300 polling units across the State. INEC had rejected the votes in March 2019 because of the allegation of electoral fraud in the 388 polling units.
However, the Supreme Court judgement seems unwelcome by the majority of the electorate as shown by the countenance of the residents of Imo State after the judgment. The apex court verdict does not in any way reflect the expectation of the electorate.
To Oyebode, the Supreme Court has indirectly replaced the electorate with the judges. More worrisome is the arithmetic of injustice used by the judges to remove Ihedioha and install Uzodinma.
After the judgement, it was discovered that the total number of votes were more than the number of accredited votes by about 1000.
This happened when the judges added the votes from 388 polling units earlier rejected by INEC, which eventually catapulted Uzodinma’s votes from 96,000 to over 300,000.