With Tuesday, January 14, Supreme Court judgement, Senator Hope Uzodinma is on his way to occupying the topmost seat in Imo State.
The victory of the 61-year-old business mogul-cum-politician ended the eight months governorship of Emeka Ihedioha who was sworn as governor of the state on May 29 last year.
Any moment from now, the former senator who represented Imo West Senatorial District will be issued the certificate of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to pave way for his swearing in as the 16th governor of the state, created in 1976 from then East Central State.
Against the declaration of INEC on March 9, the Supreme Court yesterday sacked Ihedioha, a former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives.
The sacking of Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has returned the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Imo government house. The state was governed by the APC until May 29 last year.
In nullifying the election, the apex court agreed that the results in 388 polling units were unlawfully excluded during the collation of the final governorship election result in the state.
The seven-member panel of the Supreme Court justices was unanimous in the judgement.
Recall that in the governorship election result declared by INEC:
Ihedioha of PDP polled 273,404 votes, followed by Uche Nwosu of Action Alliance who scored 190,364 votes. Senator Ifeanyi Ararume of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) got 114,676 and Uzodinma scored 96,458 votes.
Uzodinma’s battle to occupy the Imo State government house tore the APC in the state apart, forcing Uche Unwosu, the political godson of the immediate past governor of the state, Rochas Okorocha, to seek solace in another political party, Action Alliance (AA).
Reports from our correspondent last night revealed that there were mixed feelings in the state; while some were rejoicing, others were lamenting the development.
In this same vein, Damian Dodo (SAN) said all along the case has been that Uzodinma was forced to be Number 4 was actually the Number one candidate.
Lawyers to Ihedioha led by Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) expressed surprise at the conclusion reached by the Supreme Court.