Information reaching our news desk at press time has it that the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which sat in Owerri in the last five months over the petitions against the declaration of Emeka Ihedioha as Governor of Imo State, may have resolved to stagger the judgment of their findings from the hearing of the petitions filed by the trio of Uche Nwosu of the Action Alliance (AA), Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and Distinguished Senator Ifeanyi Araraume of the great All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
According to the Assistant Muazu L Sanusi Esq.Asst Sec., GOV PANEL, the parties have been duly served of the date.It stated that judgement on Uche Nwosu will be entered by 9Am.Thereafter, FCT Jabi High Court(5) for others.
From the foregoing,the judgment for the petitions filed against Emeka Ihedioha’s victory by the duo of Hope Uzodimma and Ifeanyi Araraume, would according to the same source be delivered on Saturday, September 21, 2019, at the High court, Jabi, Abuja.
Though no official reasons or explanations were given for the staggered delivery of the verdicts, Community Watchdog learnt that this arose following the peculiar nature of Uche Nwosu’s petition and the complications and contradictions that arose during the hearings and proceedings of the petition, at the Owerri High Court premises.
For instance, the Action Alliance (AA), which sponsored Uche Nwosu for the governorship election has since withdrawn from the petition, citing non-consultation and unilateral decisions by Uche Nwosu, as reasons. While Uche Nwosu was still contending with that decision by AA, one Barr. Okey Amaechi, from Umuahia, appeared before the tribunal, and moved a motion for total withdrawal of the petition filed by Uche Nwosu against Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioh. He claimed to be acting on behalf of the National leadership of AA.
His submissions were however effectively countered and opposed by Uche Nwosu’s lead counsel, who claimed that his application and motion did not follow due process and negated rule three (3) of the Electoral Act.
Upon realizing that doing so will mean the end of Uche Nwosu’s governorship ambition, Governor Rochas Okorocha in a bid to Okey Amaechi on his side, hired his services at very high cost, for the EFCC forfeiture matter, which was threatening his ownership of a number of property in Imo State.
Amaechi had successfully argued the case thus, vacating the temporary forfeiture orders on East High Colleges at New Owerri, and the Rochas Foundation College Orji, which ordinarily should have reverted to Imo State government ownership like the Eastern Palm University Ogboko.
Besides, trying to withdraw the petition filed by Uche Nwosu, by the sponsoring party, AA, his running mate, Rt. Hon. Acho Ihim, has since resigned and withdrawn both his membership of AA and support for the petition, thus asking the tribunal to throw out the petition filed by Uche Nwosu. This alone is a hard nut to crack by the three man tribunal, which gave no reasons for relocating to Abuja.
Another albatross that Nwosu has to cross, is his disqualification by an Abuja High Court by reason of his double nomination by two different political parties, which is against the Electoral Act, as amended. The tribunal has the onerous task of deciding these vexatious issues before consolidating the three petitions for a final judgment on Saturday, where it is expected to determine whether Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha was duly elected by valid votes or whether as canvassed, Hope Uzodimma, should be declared winner of the said March 23, 2019 election, following the testimony of a Deputy Commissioner of Police that Senator Uzodinma, won the election, fair and square.
Distinguished Senator Araraume on his own wants the election cancelled, following what he described as irregularities and fraud that attended the exercise.
He cited the violence, militancy and destruction of election result master sheets.