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Members and supporters of the opposition, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Abia state, Sunday, staged a peaceful protest in Umuahia, the state capital, condemning the recent verdict of the Nigeria Supreme Court that sacked Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and installed Senator Hope Uzodinma as the duly elected Governor of Imo state during 2019 general elections.
The protesting PDP supporters matched through major streets in the state capital, armed with placards with different inscriptions, “Judiciary save our nascent democracy; Can a tyrant leader allow justice to thrive; ” Judiciary stop being cowed by Gen Mohammed Buhari; “Independent judiciary is sine qua non to justice” among others.
The protest was led by the Abia State Working Committee(SWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Chief Sam Onuigbo.
However, speaking to newsmen, Onuigbo called on the judiciary, the Supreme Court, in particular, to reverse itself and restore its glory by reinstating Ihedioha as duly elected governor of Imo state.
“We left our various churches to march to the streets to express our anger and annoyance over the judgement. We are concerned because its effect on the country and survival of democracy. It is about Nigeria and not Imo state, because an injury to one is an injury to all, he said.
According to him, the best Supreme Court should do is to reverse itself adding that judges as humans are bound to make mistakes and that no human being is beyond error.
He said that what the Supreme Court justices did was an error or mistake and that allowing their strange judgement to stand would amount serious dent on the judiciary and denying the people their votes and right to choose who governs them.
Onuigbo further described the judgement as injurious to our nascent democracy capable of destroying Nigeria’s democratic rule and that drastic action must be taken to restore confidence in the judiciary and safeguard the democracy.
The Abia state PDP Chairman maintained that Imo people duly elected Ihedioha as their governor and Supreme Court should respect that wish and give him back his mandate.
Recalled that the supreme court, in a unanimous decision, last Tuesday, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue Uzodinma a certificate of return.
A seven-man panel, in its decision held that Ihedioha did not win the majority of votes cast at the March 9, 2019 governorship election.
The judgment delivered by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, held that the candidate of the APC won on grounds that he polled majority of the lawful votes cast at the election.
The apex court held that the lower court erred in law when it rejected evidence tendered before them to the extent that votes from 388 polling units were not credited to APC and Hope Uzodinma.
Kekere-Ekun said with the result from the 388 polling units, the APC governorship candidate polled majority lawful vote and ought to have been declared the winner of the election by INEC.
Last Wednesday, the Chief Judge of Imo, Justice Pascal Nnadi, sworn in Senator Hope Uzodinma and Professor Placid Njoku as governor and Deputy governor of Imo State respectively.
The swearing-in ceremony was held at the Imo State Government House, hours after Senator Uzodinma received his certificate of return from INEC in Abuja.