Anxiety in Imo as Supreme Court revives 2019 guber election case

Tension is gripping political gladiators in Imo State as the Supreme Court makes a startling move to revisit a motion filed three years ago related to the 2019 gubernatorial election.

This unexpected development comes just a month before the eagerly anticipated 2023 gubernatorial election in the State.

The announcement of the Supreme Court’s intention to hear this motion has sent ripples through the political landscape, impacting the preparations of the various gubernatorial candidates and their respective parties for the November 11 guber polls.

Observers have noted that a sense of anticipation now envelops these candidates’ camps as they eagerly await the court’s ruling on this seemingly out-of-the-blue motion.

A top politician in the state who spoke on condition of anonymity stated, “Every seasoned political player in the State is closely watching this situation unfold, as it could have far-reaching consequences on the impending election.”

The Heart of the Matter

The motion in question, identified as SC/1384/2019, involves Ugwumba Uche Nwosu and the Action Peoples Party (APP).Nwosu’s candidacy in the 2019 gubernatorial election was invalidated due to his dual nomination by both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Action Alliance (AA).

While his appeal was pending before the Supreme Court, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) filed an application to join the case as an interested party. They also requested an order directing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in Imo State within 90 days.

The argument for a fresh election was made under various legal provisions, including the Supreme Court Rules, the Supreme Court Act, and the 1999 Constitution. The applicant emphasized that, from a legal perspective, there was no validly elected governor in Imo State following two judgments by the apex court in appeals SC/1384/2019 and SC/1462/2019.

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

In the first appeal between Nwosu and APP, the Supreme Court ruled that Nwosu’s nomination by two political parties voided his candidacy. The second appeal, which led to the ousting of the then-governor Emeka Ihedioha, did not establish that Senator Hope Uzodimma was nominated by his party, the APC.

Politicians In Wait And See Stance

The recent development at the Supreme Court has cast a shadow of uncertainty over the political landscape of Imo State. In the wake of this surprising decision, reactions from various political quarters have been rather subdued, with many adopting a “wait and see” stance.

Prominent figures who played pivotal roles in the 2019 gubernatorial elections, as well as those vying for positions in the upcoming 2023 contest, are treading cautiously, holding their collective breath as they anticipate the outcome of this legal twist.

The future of Imo State’s political arena hangs in the balance as these key players remain tight-lipped, seemingly unwilling to divulge their true sentiments on this unexpected turn of events.



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