A coalition of human rights and pro-democracy groups, yesterday, called on the Supreme Court to order a rerun in Imo State, saying none of the governorship candidates met the required 25 percent of votes in two-thirds of the local governments in the state.
The Group, which comprises of Movement for the Advancement of Democracy in Nigeria; Cadrell Advocacy Centre; Youth Arise for Nigeria and Constitutional Rights Advocates Initiative said that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, ought not to have declared the candidate of the PDP, Emeka Ihedioha, governor of Imo State, having failed to meet the requirements of section 179(2) of the 1999 Constitution.
Speaking during a press conference where they appealed to the Supreme Court to right the wrong, Executive Director of Cadrell Advocacy Centre, Evans Ufeli, said that the Supreme Court should honour the constitutional requirement by declaring a rerun election.
Ufeli said: “It would be recalled that following a Supreme Court gubernatorial judgment decision against the All Progressives Congress, APC, the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomole, made public statements relating to the unfortunate decision of the Supreme Court in a television interview, recorded and in circulation, where he raised some pertinent questions, on why INEC ought not to have declared the candidate of the PDP (Emeka Ihedioha) Governor of Imo State, having not met the requirement of Section 179 (2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
“Whilst we agree with Comrade Oshiomole on the ground, we also need to add that by the same token, the declaration by the Supreme Court of the APC candidate Senator Hope Uzodinma as winner of the election is also unconstitutional, having not met the same provisions of Section 179(2) of the constitution.”
Corroborating his views, Publicity Secretary of Youth Arise for Nigeria, Liborous Oshoma, said that the law stipulates 25 percent of the votes in two-thirds of the local governments in the state, but available facts show that Emeka Ihedioha only secured 25 percent in only 14 out of 27 LGAs and ought not to have been returned in the first place.
“Shockingly, Senator Hope Uzodinma, who secured 25 percent in only two LGAs was declared by the Supreme Court as a Governor based on simple majority controversial votes from 388 units without consideration of the constitutional requirement of spread despite the concurrent findings of both Tribunal and Appeal court.”
Oshoma, however, urged the Supreme Court to order INEC to conduct another election for the two main candidates to the Governorship seat in Imo State, “this decision will save our constitutional democracy from public ridicule and opprobrium as currently seen with the international condemnation that greeted the judgement. Our position is borne out of the fact that a void act is a non-event. Consequently, it can never be too late to declare a void act a nullity and to have it set aside.”