Imo: Why S/Court’s removal of Ihedioha is wrong – Dissenting Judge

Imo: Why S/Court’s removal of Ihedioha is wrong – Dissenting Judge

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 8:03 pm


The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed an application filed by Chief Emeka Ihedioha, a former governor of Imo, seeking a review of the Jan. 14 judgment removing him from office.
The seven-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Tanko Muhammad, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) in a six to one judgment ruled that the application lacked merit dismissed the application of Ihedioha and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) filed through their lawyer Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN.
However, Justice Centus Nweze in his dissenting judgment set aside the January 14 judgment of the Supreme Court that removed Ihedioha from office as a nullity and in bad faith.

Nweze who nullified the declaration of Uzodinma as governor on account of wrong declaration held that Uzodinma mischievously misled the court into unjust conclusion with the unverified votes in 388 polling units.

“In my intimate reading of the January 14 judgment, the substance of Ihedioha’s matter was lost to time frame.

“This Court once set aside its own earlier judgment and therefore cannot use time frame to extinguish the right of any person.

“This Court has powers to over rule itself and can revisit any decision not in accordance with justice”, he said.

According to Nweze, ‘this decision of the Supreme Court will continue to hunt our electoral jurisprudence for a long time to come, adding that without evidence of meeting other constitutional provisions, the court misled itself into declaring Uzodinma as governor.

“This Court has a duty of redeeming its image.

“I am of the view that this application should succeed. I hereby make an order setting aside the decision of this Court made on Jan. 14 and that the certificate of return issued to the appellant be returned to INEC.

“I also make an order restoring the respondents as winner of the March 9 governorship election.

Highlight of the event was when after the ruling of Justice Nweze, people in the court, including counsel, burst into spontaneous clapping and the CJN threatened to sentence anyone caught clapping to “continuous clapping”.

Those who dismissed the application include the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, Justices Sylvester Ngwuta, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Amina Augie and Mary Abba-Aji

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