Hope Uzodinma, Governor of Imo State, said he is not worried about the attempt by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seeking a reversal of the Supreme Court judgment that proclaimed him as winner of the March 9, 2019 governorship election.
Governor Uzodinma stated this after he visited the Presidential Villa in the company of Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday.
The Supreme Court had on 14 January sacked the PDP’s Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of the state after agreeing with the submissions of Governor Uzodinma that his votes polled in 388 polling units was excluded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The apex court subsequently declared the APC candidate as winner of the election and ordered INEC to issue him a Certificate of Return as the elected Imo governor.
However, the PDP protested against the judgment and has returned back to the country’s highest court asking for a review and subsequent reversal of the judgment.
But in his reaction, Governor Uzodinma told State House correspondents that the effort of the PDP will end up as a flop as the matter was already “a concluded case”.
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He stated that contrary to speculations in the media, the number of votes he received was not higher than the totality of accredited voters during the election, adding that INEC has a lot of explaining to do to Nigerians.
He said: “I am not disturbed by the PDP’s move to seek a review of the judgment. I am not concerned because I believe they are going back to the Supreme Court based on falsehood because the number of accredited votes outside the excluded votes is what they are talking about.
“But, if you are going to court, you must go to court to discuss or talk about the number of accredited votes including the excluded polling units. If you compute the number of accredited votes inclusive of the excluded voters, the figures are correct.
“We went to court with an issue of exclusion; we didn’t go to court complaining about election malpractices, violence and all of that. So, it is a peculiar case.
“My case can be likened to that of Jim Nwobodo vs Onoh and Omoboriowo vs Ajasin – It is the position of the Supreme Court that where an election has been announced at a polling unit, INEC is bound to collect the result and enter the results into the Form EC 8B.
“So, let INEC tell us what happened; I’m a lawmaker and I participated in the amendment of the Electoral Act. Election petitions are timed.
“As far as I’m concerned, the 60 days left for Supreme Court to look into that matter has expired. I’m not a lawyer but with my little knowledge of law-making, I understand what is in the Electoral Act.”
Also speaking, Oshiomhole explained that they were at the Presidential Villa to introduce the new Imo State Governor to President Buhari.
“The Governor of Imo, Hope Uzodinma, is not a stranger to the president. He has been part of the APC family; he has played very decisive roles when it mattered in the affairs of the party.
“So, the purpose of today’s meeting is just to introduce him as the new executive governor of Imo.
“President Buhari is very excited that we have established our foothold in the heart of the South-East. And it coincides with the president’s vision of uniting the country.
“Now, we can truly say that we not only control the centre, we have governors in each of the six groups-political zones and I believe that is good for our party and for the government,’’ Oshiomhole said.