The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has asked the Supreme Courtroom to strike out an application trying to find to evaluate its judgment on Imo governorship election that declared him the winner of March 9 election.
Emeka Ihedioha, who is the applicant of the Peoples Democratic Social gathering (PDP), had claimed that Mr Uzodinma attained the judgment fraudulently.
Mr Ihedioha’s claims are contained in an software which he submitted on February 5, at the Supreme Court.
The apex courtroom experienced on January 14, nullified the governorship place held by Mr Ihedioha. He was earlier declared the winner by the electoral umpire, INEC, as the governor of Imo Point out.
The apex court, on the other hand, declared Mr Uzodinma as the winner of the March 9 governorship election in the condition.
In the unanimous judgment of the 7-member panel, examine by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the apex courtroom agreed that outcomes in 388 polling units were being unlawfully excluded all through the collation of the last governorship election outcome in Imo Condition.
Justice Kekere-Ekun stated with the effects from the 388 polling units extra, Mr Uzodinma polled a vast majority of the lawful votes and ought to have been declared the winner of the election by the Impartial Nationwide Electoral Commission (INEC).
The decide did not supply the details of the new votes scored by each of the candidates just after the addition of the final results from the 388 polling models.
As a result, she voided and set aside the declaration of Mr lhedioha as the winner of the 2019 governorship election in the South-East state.
The courtroom requested that the certification of return issued to Mr lhedioha be straight away withdrawn by INEC and a clean a single issued to Mr Uzodinma as the elected governor of the condition.
Uzodinma’s ask for
But, in a 19-paragraph affidavit filed in opposition to Mr Ihedioha’s application, Mr Uzodinma and the All Progressive Congress (APC) said the 60 days authorized for the apex court docket by the structure has considering that elapsed.
“The undisputed facts relating to the respondents/applicants’ motion hereinafter referred to as “the motion” are to the influence that the judgment of the Court of Enchantment was delivered on 21st September 2019, although the a single sought to be established apart, was sent on 14th January 2020. Obviously, the 60 days authorized by Segment 285(7) of the 1999 Structure (as amended) for this Hon. Court to hear and determine an charm from the Court docket of Attraction in an election matter, lapsed on January 17, 2020. The motion to set aside was filed on February 5, 2020, 19 times right after the time permitted by the Constitution.
“It is now a settled legislation that the 60 days’ time restrict to establish and conclude litigation on election issues is sacrosanct and cannot be extended by any guise,” they stated, in the counter-affidavit filed on their behalf by their law firm, Damian Dodo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
In the counter-affidavit deposed to by Mathew Mola, the two respondents stated the Supreme Court is not in the routine of sitting on enchantment about its own judgment as currently being demanded by Mr Ihedioha.
The deponent averred that by the rule of the apex courtroom, the court is prohibited from reviewing its have judgment the moment sent except to accurate clerical problems or accidental slips.
“As the highest court docket in the land, the Supreme Court docket jealously guides its approach against abuse by litigants,” he reported, “and does not indulge in tutorial work out or response by hypothetical queries.”
He mentioned contrary to the assert of Mr Ihedioha in his software, the scores of all the candidates in the election as declared by INEC, were being plainly set out.
The deponent additional that a petitioner, whose votes had been excluded from the declared benefits, is entitled to compute the votes excluded in the presentation of his case.
The counter-affidavit denied the allegation that Mr Uzodinma admitted that he allocated votes to himself or that the votes in the 388 polling models had been in excessive of the registered voters.
“I know as a simple fact that the difficulty of a complete amount of votes forged exceeding the total variety of accredited voters did not come up from the petition or the attraction regarded as and identified by the Supreme Courtroom.
“I also know that the concern of the votes of 68 other candidates not been mirrored was hardly ever raised by Ihedioha in the attraction that led to the judgment now currently being challenged,” he extra.
The deponent observed that Mr Uzodinma and APC did not mislead the Supreme Court to perpetrate any fraud in the charm that introduced them to electricity, describing Mr Ihedioha’s allegations as wild and baseless.
The governor and his bash, in their joint preliminary objection, asked the apex court docket to strike out the ask for for remaining baseless and unwarranted.
They argued that the software by Mr Ihedioha constitutes a gross abuse of court process, an workout in futility and an endeavor to pressure the apex court docket to sit on enchantment in its individual judgment.
According to the respondents, by virtue of Portion 285 of the 1999 Structure (as amended), the Supreme Court docket could no more time choose on the make a difference has turn out to be statute-barred.
In the meantime, the apex court will on February 18, contemplate the advantage or usually of Mr Ihedioha’s application.
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