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Supreme Court declines to sack Gov Uzodinma

The Supreme Court has declined to sack Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State as governor. A five-member panel of justices on Tuesday dismissed the application…

The Supreme Court has declined to sack Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State as governor.

A five-member panel of justices on Tuesday dismissed the application on grounds of lack of jurisdiction.

The panel led by led by Justice Inyang Okoro, held that it had no jurisdiction to entertain the appeal which it described as frivolous and highly vexatious.

The apex court proceeded to award a personal cost of N40 million against counsel for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Ihedioha, Mike Ozehkome (SAN).

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PDP and Ihedioha’s application had sought to remove Uzodinma from office on the premise that he was not validly nominated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest the election that led to his first tenure in 2019.

The application further sought to invalidate the years that Uzodinma spent in office as governor.

The PDP and Ihedioha had applied to join the appeal challenging Uzodinma’s qualification, which was originally filed by Uche Nwosu, who was the governorship candidate of the Action Alliance (AA).

Specifically, the PDP and Ihedioha prayed the Supreme Court to give effect to its 2019 verdict that disqualified Nwosu on the ground that he was nominated by both the AA and the APC to contest the election.

The appellants argued that if the apex court recognised Nwosu as candidate of the APC, there was no legal basis for its subsequent judgement that sacked Ihedioha and declared Uzodinma who was also sponsored by the same APC, as the valid winner of the governorship poll.

Consequently, the PDP asked the apex court to restore Ihedioha, since the APC was precluded from sponsoring two candidates in the election.

In an affidavit it filed in support of the application, which was deposed to by a legal practitioner, Adedamola Farokun, PDP, averred: “The third Respondent/Applicant (PDP) is neither in any way seeking a review of the valid, subsisting and well considered judgement of this court delivered in this appeal in 2019, nor seeking a review of the judgement of this court delivered on January 14, 2020 in SC/462/2019, but humbly seeking that this court give effect to its judgement delivered on December 20, 2019.

“That this court has the constitutional, inherent powers and jurisdiction to grant the reliefs sought and give effects to its judgement.

“That it is in the interest of justice for this court to exercise its wide discretionary powers in favour of granting this application as prayed.”

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