EMEKA Ihedioha, former governor of Imo state who was ousted by the Supreme Court has returned to the same court to reclaim his mandate which was recently given to Hope Uzodimma, the current governor of the State.
His reason for approaching the Supreme Court include the fact that Uzodinma was not APC candidate and was not a candidate of any party in the March 9, governorship election in Imo State based on the judgement of the same Supreme Court on December 20, 2019, and that Uche Nwosu was declared as the rightful candidate of APC and AA and was disqualified for double candidature.
The other reason being that APC couldn’t have produced two candidates in one election; Supreme Court has no powers to allocate votes to any candidate; Supreme Court has no power to increase the number of people accredited by INEC; Somebody that was not a candidate cannot be winner of an election he was not a candidate; Nigerian Police have no powers to
organize elections in Nigeria and results tendered by a police officer cannot be admitted in any court as an exhibit as he was not an INEC officer.
Based on the above facts that are still subsisting Ihedioha and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have applied for review in the hope that he might return to his office as the elected Governor of Imo State.
This notwithstanding, a group of legal experts, under the aegis of Partners for Justice and Equity, PAJE, has stated that the Supreme Court could reverse itself in its recent ruling that sacked Ihedioha as the governor of Imo State.
In a statement released on Thursday, PAJE said the court could decide to review the facts of the case with a view to ensuring that justice was not only done, but seen to have been done.
PAJE, which is made up of senior lawyers, also advised Ihedioha to make a formal approach to the Supreme Court through legal application for the apex court to look at the facts in issue once more. It adduced seven reasons or grounds on which it said the Supreme Court could review the Imo governorship election judgment.
The statement was signed by Uwajiogu Ikeokwu Udemba, national secretary of the group, listed the reasons as follows:
“The sum total of votes added by the Supreme Court exceeds accredited votes. This is in violation of Section 53 of the Electoral Act 2010 (As Amended) and Section 8 (b) of INEC Guideline for the 2019 election.
“The Acceptance of Results from 388 polling units by Supreme Court without certification is a violation of Section 89 ( e) and (f ) and 90 (c ) of the Evidence Act 2011 which requires all public documents to be certified before it can be tendered in evidence.
“The results from the disputed 388 polling units were neither certified by INEC who are the issuers of the document nor Police in whose custody they claimed the documents emanated.
“The Acceptance of Evidence of a Police Officer who neither made the document nor knew anything about the document is in violation of Section 37, 38 and 126 of Evidence Act 2011.
“The Acceptance of the 388 results by the Supreme without any evidence from polling agents or INEC officials is a clear departure from the existing judicial precedence on the proof of election results as established by Supreme Court in long lines of cases including most recently Atiku vs. Buhari, Alex Otti Vs. Ikpeazu.
“It is obvious that the Supreme Court relied only on the submission of Hope Uzodimma without any reference to the records of proceedings of the Tribunal/Court of Appeal or otherwise, it would have realized that even though Hope Uzodimma claimed 388 polling units, he only brought 366 polling units results yet the Supreme Court unilaterally credited him with results from 20 polling units that were not produced.
“The Supreme Court judgment was erroneously premised on 388 polling units results when indeed only 366 polling units results were presented to the court who knows if the exclusion of the 20 added results could have, if not wipe out the margin make it impossible for the APC candidate to make spread requirement,” it said.
PAJE also stated that the most the Supreme Court should have ordered INEC to conduct election in the said 388 polling units since the margin of registered voters in those polling units are such as could affect the outcome of the election.
In spite of the observations, PAJE said there was no need for Nigerians to be condemning the justices of the Supreme Court for the judgment as they are well learned in their profession, adding that even in the United States, Ghana and some other parts of the world, Supreme courts have had reasons to review their own decisions when additional facts are adduced.
“We cannot join in the criticism or condemnation of their lordships for the decision they took based on the facts that may have been presented by counsels before the court. In the United states, the Supreme Court have reviewed its decision several times although under conditions that it has to be similar cases that involved other parties.
“Therefore the US Supreme court had at different times reviewed its ruling in cases like Dred Scott v. Sandford, Lochner v New York (1905), Adkins v. Children’s Hospital (1923), Chisholm v. Georgia (1793), Adler v. Board of Education (1952) and Bowers v. Hardwick (1986),” the lawyers stated.
“Like we stated earlier, the review by the US Supreme Court of the above stated cases were covered under peculiar circumstances, the Nigerian Supreme Court had in the past reviewed itself in the case of Johnson v Lawanson (1971) in a case where Justice Coker said that “when the court is faced with the alternative of perpetuating what it is satisfied is an erroneous decision which was reached per incuriam and will, if followed, inflict hardship and injustice upon the generations in the future or of causing temporary disturbances of rights acquired under such a decision, I do not think we shall hesitate to declare the law as we find it.