National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Adams Oshiomhole said ousted Imo governor Emeka Ihedioha did not win the 9 March 2019 election and that the Supreme Court judgment was a remedy for the fraud.
He claimed Ihedioha did not meet the constitutional provision of scoring 25 percent in two thirds of the 27 LGAs in Imo state and said it was fraudulent for the INEC returning officer to have declared him the duly elected governor.
“Everybody knows that you need one quarter of the votes in at least two third local government (areas) in a state to be declared a winner or governor, but INEC recruited a Professor of crook who declared Emeka Ihedeoha of the PDP who scored one third in 12 local government (areas) out of 27. So, if the Professor go free with his loot, another person will try it again.
“That was the mischief that the Supreme Court corrected that they are hiring people to come and make noise. We don’t steal votes, we win votes. So I congratulate the Supreme Court for upholding the constitution of the country.”
Oshiomhole, who also spoke about the imminent reforms in the electoral process, said APC will push the President and the National Assembly to insert in the electoral law that any INEC official who deliberately declared a loser as the winner of election should be charged to court, after a fraud had been established.
After the election of 9 March, in which 70 candidates took part, the PDP candidate, Ihedioha, was declared the winner, with INEC returning officer, Professor Francis Atunta claiming he scored 273,404 votes. Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance had the second position with 190,364 votes. The candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ifeanyi Ararume came third with 114, 676 while Hope Uzondima of the All Progressives Congress (APC) polled 96,458. Accord Party candidate was fifth with 6,846 votes.
INEC Imo State Returning Officer and Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Umundike, Abia State, Francis Atunta, put the total registered voters at 2,221,008 and the total accredited voters as 823,743.
Uzodinma vowed to challenge the results. While addressing supporters at the party’s secretariat in Owerri, Imo State,on 14 March, he claimed that there were some forms of injustice that occurred during the results’ compilation, vowing to challenge the INEC’s declaration in court.
“We are going to challenge the result. We will be very resilient. We will address it and God willing, justice will be done,” he said.
Uzodinma went to court to claim that he won the poll because the results from 388 polling units were excluded. He lost at the both the Governorship Election Tribunal and the Appeal Court. However, he got a dissenting judgment in his favour at the Appeal Court.
At the Supreme Court, in the unanimous judgment of the seven-member panel, read by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the court agreed that results in 388 polling units were unlawfully excluded during the collation of the final governorship election result in Imo State.
Justice Kekere-Ekun said with the addition of the results from 388 polling units, Mr Uzodinma polled a majority of the lawful votes and ought to have been declared the winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.