CJN Tanko leads panel as Supreme Court begins hearing on Imo, Zamfara applications - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Tuesday, 18 February 2020

CJN Tanko leads panel as Supreme Court begins hearing on Imo, Zamfara applications

CJN Tanko leads panel as Supreme Court begins hearing on Imo, Zamfara applications

The Supreme Court has began hearing the two applications by the erstwhile governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha and the members of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Zamfara State challenging the decisions of the court.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad is leading seven other members in the hearing. Other members of the panel are: Justices Sylvester Ngwuta, Kayode Ariwoola, Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, Inyang Okoro, Amina Augie, and Uwani Abba-Aji.

Security in and around Court was on Tuesday beefed up by police and other security operatives as the Supreme Court considers the two applications, one each by the former governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha and members of the APC in Zamfara State challenging the decisions of the court.

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Ihedioha and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had in an application dated February 5, 2020 and brought through his counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN) asked the apex court to set aside its judgement of January 14, which nullified his victory in the March 9, 2019 election and declared Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress,APC winner of the election after he presented excluded results from 388 polling units.

On its part, the Zamfara application, dated November 27, 2019, was brought by the APC faction loyal to former governor Abdulaziz Yari through their counsel, Edwin Clarke (SAN), seeking a review of the consequential order of the apex court which on March 24, 2019 nullified the election of candidates of the party over failure to conduct a proper primary.

Recall that in its judgement, a seven-member panel of justices presided by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, held that Ihedioha was not validly elected as governor by majority of lawful votes cast in the election.

The panel therefore ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Ihedioha and a fresh certificate of return issued to Uzodinma forthwith and “he should be sworn in as governor immediately.”

In the main judgement read by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the apex court held that Uzodinma proved the allegation of exclusion of results in 388 polling units of the state where he scored 213,695 votes.

While in the Zamfara judgement, a five-member panel of justices presided by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, in a unanimous judgement held that the party in the state failed to conduct primaries in accordance with the party rules.

In the lead judgement by Justice Paul Adamu Galinji, the apex court held that all votes cast for the APC were “wasted votes” and declared that all political parties with the second highest votes in the elections and the required spread, are elected to the various elections.

The apex court had in its judgement on a suit by Senator Kabiru Garba Marafa on May 24 last year nullified the victory of all the APC candidates in the last general elections, thus paved way for the emergence of those of the PDP. But INEC may ask for adjournment in the Zamfara appeal to enable it respond properly.

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