By Justice Omenuko
From the look of things, the array of numerous wrong and conflicting numbers, facts and figures will, above everything else, provide the singular straw that will break the camel’s back in the final lap of long race to Douglas House, Owerri.
The inability of Senator Uzodimma to explain how the came about the wrong and conflicting vote numbers, facts and figures that he swore on oath were excluded from his votes tally in the 2019 election, should put a final full stop to his unwholesome quest to be the Supreme Court imposed governor of Imo State.
At the outset of the legal hostilities and brouhaha in April 2019, the issues of numbers, facts and figures formed the bulk of the claims by the petitioners/appellants against the winner and governor, His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON KSC FNIFST.
At the time, there were the claims that the winner didn’t get 25% of votes cast in 2/3 of the 27 LGAs of Imo State. There was also the claim by Uzodimma that his 213,695 votes from 388 polling units were excluded. That false claim by Uzodimma was refuted with facts and figures by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
All of that bothered on numbers, facts and figures. Along the lines, with the disqualification of the second placed Chief Uche Nwosu by the Supreme Court and the expunging of his over 190,000 votes, Gov. Ihedioha automatically met the 25% votes in more than 18 out of 27 LGAs. That ended one leg of the issue of numbers, facts and figures.
Yet, the claim by Uzodimma of his controversial 213,695 votes lingered. The tribunal, after a thorough job, threw out the petition for lack of merit and competence. Uzodimma sought redress at the Court of Appeal, which also threw out his petition for lack of merit and competence.
At the tribunal and the court of appeal, Uzodimma couldn’t prove or justify how he came about the 388 polling units and 213,695 votes he claimed were from there. He couldn’t call required number of witnesses to prove the claim. The few witnesses he called, including a police man, couldn’t convince the tribunal and court of appeal on the claim of excluded votes by Uzodimma.
He ran to the Supreme Court with the same claim which he couldn’t prove or justify at the tribunal and court of appeal stages. On January 14, 2020 the Supreme Court delivered misjudgement by granting the false claims by Uzodimma, awarded him the 213,695 votes, raising his votes to over 300,000, and declaring him winner and governor.
Ideally, that should have been the end of discussion. But it was observed that by the singular unilateral decisions of the court in awarding Uzodimma the unmerited and undeserved votes, the total number of total votes cast, 950,952 was much higher than the total number of accredited voters, 823,743!
Amidst the critical observations, it was also discovered that results on the tabulated result sheets presented to the Supreme Court by Uzodimma was a bundle of wrong and conflicting numbers, facts and figures. In a number of polling units, Uzodimma got votes that were double the number total registered voters!
That was fraud. That was incuriam. That was a misleading of the Supreme Court by Uzodimma. The debacle of Uzodimma’s wrong and conflicting numbers, facts and figures has turned many people in the world into emergency vote mathematicians, statisticians and collation officers!
Expectedly, the duly elected governor of Imo State, Gov. Ihedioha on February 5, 2020 returned to the Supreme Court, tabling the wrong and conflicting numbers, facts and figures as fraud and misleading.
The Supreme Court accepted the application and set February 18, 2020 as date for hearing the application for the court to set aside its earlier misjudgement because, inter alia, Uzodimma misled them into basing on a fraudulent claim to declare him winner of the 2019 governorship election and governor. That’s where we are today as discussion continues!
The revisit to the misjudgement by the Supreme Court will be absolutely based on the observed wrong and conflicting numbers, facts and figures. Nothing more, nothing else!
Gov. Ihedioha through his team of lawyers, led by erudite legal luminary, Chief Kanu Agabi SAN, will rub in deeper his conclusion that Uzodimma was declared winner and governor based on the wrong and conflicting numbers, facts and figures claimed by Uzodimma on which the Supreme Court based its misjudgement.
On the other hand, Senator Uzodimma will be on set to explain how he forged numbers, facts and figures and misled the Supreme Court to award him the 213,695 votes from 388 polling units. It’ll be kpokpo!
On its part, the Supreme Court will take its time this second time around to do its calculations computations, mathematics and arithmetics correctly. Ultimately, it’ll come out with error free judgement and justice!
To that extent, pundits are in collective agreement that everything that threw spanners in the works in the 2019 governorship election in Imo State ab initio had to do with wrong and conflicting numbers, facts and figures.
The same pundits are also agreed that the resolution of the protracted, lingering epic election petition and appeal lies in the will by the Supreme Court to right the established wrong in numbers, facts and figures being falsely claimed by Senator Uzodimma. I concur!
Instructively, the preliminary objection and defence to the application for setting aside the misjudgement by the Supreme Court, Uzodimma failed to engage the position of Gov. Ihedioha, which anchor and hinge on the truth that Uzodimma was wrongly given favourable because of the wrong numbers, facts and figures he claimed.
The eyes and ears of many people in the are focused on the Supreme Court to see how it will go about setting straight every crooked aspects of its misjudgement on January 14, 2020. Soon, soon and very soon…!