SAHARANEWS – The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed an application filed by Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), asking it to set aside a judgement that declared Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Imo State governor.
With one out of seven justices dissenting, the court, led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed, held that the application by Mr Ihedioha and the PDP lacked merit.
The court also said it lacked the jurisdiction to review its own judgement.
Mr Ihedioha and the PDP had approached the court following its January 14 judgement that nullified Mr Ihedioha’s victory and declared Mr Uzodinma the winner of the election.
Mr Ihedioha was earlier declared the winner of the March 2019 election by the electoral umpire, INEC.
SaharaNews had reported how, in a unanimous judgment of the seven-member panel, read by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the apex court agreed that results in 388 polling units were unlawfully excluded during the collation of the final governorship election result in Imo State.
Mr Kekere-Ekun said with the results from the 388 polling units added, Mr Uzodinma polled a majority of the lawful votes and ought to have been declared the winner of the election by the poll commission.
The court, however, did not provide the details of the new votes scored by each of the candidates in the election after the addition of the results from the 388 polling units.
The court voided and set aside the declaration of Mr lhedioha as the winner of the 2019 governorship election in the South-east state.
The court ordered that the certificate of return issued to Mr lhedioha be immediately withdrawn by INEC and a fresh one issued to Mr Uzodinma as the elected governor of the state.
“Vote due to the appellant Senator Hope Uzodinma and the APC from 388 Polling Units were wrongly excluded from scores ascribed to the appellant (to them),” the judges ruled.
But in its majority judgement read by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola on Tuesday, the apex court said the application for a reversal of the ruling lacked merit and accordingly dismissed it.
The six justices with majority judgement said parties are to bear their respective costs.
In his dissenting judgement, Justice Centus Nweze held that a judgement or order can be set aside on merit. He said court has the power to overrule itself and has done so in the past.
Justice Nweze then ordered that INEC issue a certificate of return to Mr Ihedioha.