The Supreme Court has declared Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the legitimate winner of the March 9, 2019, governorship election in Imo State.
The seven-man panel of the apex court in a unanimous decision delivered on Tuesday held that Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who was declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), did not win the majority of votes cast.
Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, who delivered the lead judgment, stated that all votes due to Uzodinma from 318 polling units were unlawfully excluded by the electoral commission.
The apex court held that the governorship tribunal and the Supreme Court erred in law when it rejected evidence tendered before them regarding the exclusion of votes.
It, therefore, ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Ihedioha and issued a fresh Certificate of Return to the candidate of the APC, having won the majority of lawful votes cast at the election.
Uzodinma had approached the Supreme Court after the Imo governorship tribunal and the appellate court had dismissed his appeals.
Prior to the judgment, Uche Nwosu, the governorship candidate of the Action Alliance (AA) in the election, had withdrawn his appeal against Ihedioha, citing a judgment by the apex court on December 20, 2019, which said Nwosu was not credibly nominated as candidate of his party in the election, thus lacked the locus standi to file any case against the election.