The Journey to Ihedioha’s victorious declaration as the Governor of Imo State on the 11th of March 2019, began immediately after his loss in the 2015 polls. The 2015 election was very instructive to him as he became exposed to the intricacies of Imo politics.
Ihedioha embarked on a door-to-door campaign. Despite being resident in Abuja at the time, he was in Imo almost every other week.
He sincerely identified with the people, and in return the people fell in love with his personality.
Ihedioha attracted deep support with ease across the State. He didn’t need introduction at events. He sold himself to the people and this earned the PDP victory during the 2019 election, not just for the Governorship but in the State Assembly and National Assembly elections. Indeed, Ihedioha was and still remains the Torchbearer of the PDP in Imo State.
As a Governor, Ihedioha’s only “crime” was his commitment to #DueProcess. There are things you cannot even discuss with him. There are things you wont even have the courage to tell him. Once it’s not about Ndi Imo, forget it.
The conspiracy against him was because of his firm belief in Imo State and its development. Ihedioha could have sacrificed some State allocation to remain in power, but he never did. He was committed to the welfare of the people, the pensioners and the entirety of Ndi Imo.
As a Governor, he stepped on toes if it became necessary, and I am very much aware that the man Ihedioha has no regrets for his actions while at the helm of affairs in Imo State. He was always guided by the principle of Government of the People, by the People and of the People.
The man Ihedioha is a very courageous man who is always deliberate in his action. He proposed a bright future for Imo, tackling its challenges from all angles. For me, the dream of Rebuilding Imo is not conquered.
I take solace in the fact that Ihedioha has paid his dues in Imo State and Nigeria at large. He has made the Supreme sacrifice. It is obvious even to the beneficiary that they are seating on a stolen mandate.
For the Supreme Court, this Judgment has gone down in the annals of History as the worst ever delivered by Justices of the Apex Court. Even when the errors were very clear even to a layman, the Judges ignored everything to protect their ego and selfish interests.
Like Justice Nweze notes, the Judgment will continue to haunt judicial jurisprudence in this country. Yes, Ihedioha’s appeal was dismissed, but his voice has been heard across globe. Posterity shall no doubt protect him for greater tasks.
THE MAN KANU AGABI:
“When I was a child my
father will beat me to
cry and also beat me to stop.
My Lord please we are
crying and do not treat
us like my father did”.
Those were the words of the great legal luminary while making his closing remarks on the 3rd of March before the CJN Tanko-led panel.
Kanu Agabi, a two-time Attorney General and Minister of Justice, as well as a former Minister for Solid Mineral Development, is a solicitor at the Supreme Court, with many decades of experience.
Agabi in several ways gave life to the review application. At every sitting, he was completely in total control of the situation. There’s no doubting the fact that he knew what he was asking for.
Even though the other side severaly carried fake news of his withdrawal from the case but Agabi remained resolute to the cause.
At some point, he was quoted by Vanguard as saying that he was “emotionally” committed to the matter.
The fact that Agabi led team was not fined even when the nation they brought was dismissed goes a long way to show that though the matter was dismissed for not having merit, indeed there was merit in it.
I do hope that the jurisprudential history of this nation will one day be written with men like Agabi taking the center stage.
POSTERITY OWES NWEZE:
When a lone voice becomes loudest.
Justice Chima Centus Nweze will no doubt remain a reference point when discussions are made about honest and honourable Justices of Nigeria’s Supreme Court. He singled himself out from having a hand in the death of “that boy that calls him father”.
Justice Chima Centus Nweze in his dissenting judgement set aside the January 14 judgement of the Supreme court as a nullity and in bad faith.
Justice Nweze nullified the declaration of Hope Uzodinma as governor on account of wrong declaration and held that Uzodinma mischievously misled the court into unjust conclusion with the unverified votes in 388 polling units.
”In my intimate reading of the January 14 judgment, the substance of Ihedioha’s matter was lost to time frame.
This Court once set aside its own earlier judgment and therefore cannot use time frame to extinguish the right of any person.
“This Court has powers to over rule itself and can revisit any decision not in accordance with justice”, he said.
According to Nweze, ‘this decision of the Supreme Court will continue to hunt our electoral jurisprudence for a long time to come, adding that without evidence of meeting other constitutional provisions, the court misled itself into declaring Uzodinma as governor.
“This Court has a duty of redeeming its image.
“I am of the view that this application should succeed. I hereby make an order setting aside the decision of this Court made on Jan. 14 and that the certificate of return issued to the appellant be returned to INEC.
“I also make an order restoring the respondents as winner of the March 9 governorship election”.
It’s interesting to note that Justice Nweze was not a member of the initial panel that sat on the Ihedioha vs Uzodinma matter on January 14th. His emergence as a member of the panel came after the retirement of Justice Amiru Sanusi, who retired with a bad judicial history as being one of those who delivered the ungodly judgment in Imo State.
Justice Nweze stood out, being the lone voice in a panel of 7, He became the loudest afterwards.
The fact is that Justice Nweze’s dissenting judgment shall remain a burden to the Judiciary and every body that had hand in the injustice perpetrated in Imo.
TO THE REST OF US, I SAY THANK YOU:
You stood firm on the path of justice during the period in question. For the good of Imo State and Nigeria, this is an appreciation note.
Nigerians at various levels spoke out: the media, key players in the private sector, legal practitioners, entertainers, comedians, stakeholders, Nigerian and Imo New Media Community, party men and women, were all committed to getting Justice.
For them and indeed all of us, it wasn’t just about Emeka Ihedioha as a person, it was about saving the Nation from an impending doom which has today institutionalized electoral fraud in Nigeria.
No price is too much in the demand for justice.
You have all justified Martin Luther King’s statement that “an act of injustice anywhere is a threat to injustice everywhere”.
Be assured that His Excecllecy appreciates you. As much as you pray for him, also be assured that He is strong in spirit. He is a man of goodwill and has earned it over the years. I strongly believe that with your continuous support and prayers, He will emerge stronger.
Like Emeka Ihedioha said severally, the issue is beyond him. It was about the survival of a Nation’s most sacred institution. You all stood for justice. You stood for what you believe in. The Judgment May have been given to weaken all of us, remain resolute and committed.
Like Lance Armstrong said, “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”
We shall never quit until we get the system sanitized.
Imo Bu Nke Anyi Nile