Supreme Court Fixes Oct 31 To Hear APGA’s Case Against Governor Uzodinma

The Supreme Court has slated October 31 to hear an application the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, filed to remove Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo state from office.

The hearing is coming three years after the motion was filed and less than a month to the scheduled governorship election in the state.

Specifically, APGA, is contending that there ought to have been a fresh election in the state after the apex court nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The party noted that the apex court had before Ihedioha’s election was voided, in a separate judgement, declared that Uche Nwosu who came second at the governorship poll that held in 2019, had dual nominations.

The apex court had held that Nwosu allowed himself to be nominated by both the All Progressives Congress, APC, and Action Alliance, AA.

APGA, whose candidate came third in the election, had while Nwosu’s appeal was pending before the Supreme Court, brought an application to be joined as an interested party in the matter.

It equally filed an application for an order, directing the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct a fresh election in Imo State within 90 days.

According to the party, a fresh election was necessary since in the eyes of the law, Imo State has no duly and validly elected governor, going by two judgments of the apex court in appeals number SC/1384/2019 and SC/1462/2019.

“In the eyes of the law, the absence of a duly and validly nominated candidate sponsored by a political party as a constitutional precedent, has made it imperative for INEC to conduct a fresh election in Imo State”, counsel to the applicant, Mr S. I. Nwoga submitted.

It will be recalled that the apex court had in the first Appeal, held that Nwosu contested and won the primaries conducted by the APC on October 6, 2018, and his name forwarded to INEC as APC’s candidate for the March 9, 2019 governorship election in Imo State.

It however voided his nomination on the premise that he “knowingly allowed himself to be nominated as the gubernatorial candidate of two political parties.”

The apex court held that by Section 37 of the Electoral Act 2010, his nomination was invalid.

Therefore, APGA, through its legal team, pointed out that the apex court, in its judgment in the second appeal number SC/1462/2019, wherein the then governor, Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP was sacked, did not establish that Senator Uzodinma was duly nominated by the APC.

“Indeed, this court rightly noted at page 9 of its judgment in appeal number SC/1462/2019, Uzodinma vs Ihedioha, that the issue of the 1st appellant’s nomination by the 2nd appellant did not arise.

“Consequently, there is no decision of this court that has determined or established that Senator Hope Uzodinma is the duly nominated/sponsored governorship candidate of the APC in Imo State as stipulated by Section 11177(c) of the Constitution,” APGA added.

While praying the apex court for permission to be joined and heard in the substantive suit that was filed on July 9, 2020, APGA, which polled a total of 114, 676 votes to come third in the gubernatorial contest, prayed for an order of the apex court, “excluding the APC and Action Alliance (AA) from participating in the fresh governorship election in Imo State within 90 days.”

Over three years after the application was filed, the apex court communicated the hearing date to the parties through a notice dated October 16, 2023, which was signed by one of its Registrars, Usman Bature.