The Ezuruezu Mbaise is the apex socio-cultural organization representing the people of Mbaise in the three Local Government Areas of Aboh Mbaise, Ezinihitte Mbaise and Ahiazu Mbaise.
The Ezuruezu Mbaise at its emergency meeting held on 19th January 2020 considered in general the decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on 14th January 2020 wherein the Court nullified the election of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as the Governor of Imo State and declared Chief Hope Uzodinma as the Governor of Imo State at the 2019 Governorship Election.
After a very extensive deliberation on the above decisions of the Supreme Court by the Ezuruezu Mbaise the following observations and decision were made and arrived at:
1. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after the conduct of the 2019 Governorship Election in Imo State declared Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the duly elected Governor of Imo State with a total of 273,404 votes. Other candidates at the said election who challenged the election scored the following votes:
a. Uche Nwosu. (AA) 190,364
b. Ifeanyi Ararume (APGA) 114,676
c. Hope Uzodinma (APC) 96,458
2. Both the Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal upheld the election of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha on the ground that the Petitioners did not prove their respective cases and in particular the existence of other results from the so-called 388 Polling Units.
3. On the 14th day of January 2020 the Supreme Court of Nigeria in its judgment reversed the concurrent findings of fact by both the Trial Tribunal and the Court of Appeal and held that Hope Uzodinma of the ruling APC won the said Governorship Election with a total of 309,714 votes, that is 213,258 votes from the Supreme Court plus 96,456 votes from INEC.
4. At the said election INEC recorded 823,742 accredited voters while the Supreme Court in its calculation arrived at 950,952 as a total vote cast.
5. It is clear from the judgment of the Supreme Court that the election has been accorded more votes than the number of voters accredited to vote at the said election.
6. It is also clear that the addition of 213,258 votes by the Supreme Court has created mathematical error which must be corrected by the same Supreme Court as an accidental slip, clerical error or omission.
We request the Supreme Court to take steps to correct the error in computing the votes scored by the candidates in line with the accredited voters at the said election.
We believe that the Supreme Court has the power to correct this error as it had done in the past in some decided cases like;
a. ADEGOKE MOTORS LTD. v. ADESANYA (1989) 13 NWLR (PT. 109) 250 AT 27A.
b. JOHNSON v. LAWANSON (1971)7 NSCC 82.
These cases have established that the Supreme Court has the power to over-rule itself when it appears that any of its decision has been given per incuriam (in error).
We agree with the then Justice GBA Coker, JSC and Justice C.A. Oputa, JSC that it is far better to admit an error than to persevere in error.
We therefore call on all well-meaning and law-abiding citizens to watch and pray for justice in the Imo State Governorship case.
BARR. C.I. ANAYNWU
HON. OLIVER ENWERENEM
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