By Emma Okereh
As the Supreme Court judgment that sacked Hon Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and enthroned Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as governor of Imo state continues to generate controversy, The AUTHORITY has gathered that the legal team assembled by Hon Ihedioha to again approach the apex court, has said it is not just seeking for a review of the case but an order setting aside as a nullity what the court had done.
Recall that the Supreme Court had on 14th January delivered a judgment in respect of the Imo gubernatorial election held on March 9, 2019. The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal had earlier affirmed Hon Ihedioha as the lawfully elected Governor of Imo state. But, the 7-member panel headed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mohammed Tanko, sitting on appeal, set aside the judgment of both Courts.
The judgment which is largely seen as controversial, stirred up protests in Imo state, Abuja and other states including outside the shores of Nigeria. The PDP and Hon Ihedioha, after a careful study of the judgment have returned to the Supreme Court with a motion on notice seeking an order to set aside as a nullity the judgment delivered by the Honourable Court on the 4th of January 2020 in Appeal no SC1462/2019 and cross appeal no SC1470/2019.
The return to the Supreme Court has been widely described as a move to get the apex court to review its judgment.
However, The Authority gathered that a mere review of the judgment entails that the apex court would merely be asked to take a second look at it. It further gathered that the legal team assembled for Hon Ihedioha is out rightly asking the Supreme Court for an order to set aside as a nullity the judgment it delivered .
It said it has discovered lots of loophole in the judgment which it has carefully catalogued and brought before the apex court praying it to do the needful.
The motion on notice obtained by this paper shows that Ihedioha’s legal team premised its application on a number of grounds. It posits that there being a subsisting judgment of the Court of Appeal dismissing the petition incompetent continues to subsist as the appeal against that decision was not considered by the Supreme Court.
It explained that the order of the Court of Appeal striking out the petition for being incompetent raises a jurisdictional issue which the court ought to have resolved first before delving into the merits of the appeal.
‘’In its judgment, this Honourable Court neither considered nor resolved this jurisdictional issue. The failure of the Supreme Court to consider and pronounce on this issue amounts to a failure of jurisdiction and completely erodes the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to consider the appealon the merit’’, it contends.
It further states that the Supreme Court did not have the jurisdiction to declare SenUzodinma as elected in the absence of any proof that the votes ascribed to him met the mandatory geographical spread stipulated in section 179 (2) of the constitution as amended.
It contends that the appellants/respondents misled the court into holding that a total of 213,495 votes were unlawfully excluded from the votes scored by the 1st appellant/respondent in the marchguber election.
It further contends that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) furnished the Court with evidence debunking the election results presented by SenUzodinma arguing that there was no reason for the presumption.
Other issues raised by the team pertains to the issue of computation where only the PDP APC only featured in the votes scored in the 388 polling units that was in contention. It also said that signatories on that form were also inadequate.
The legal team also asks for a new set of Supreme Court Panel that will sit on the present application.