Okorocha, Supreme Court and Imo governorship decision

Posted by News Express | 19 January 2020 | 1,071 times

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• Rochas Okorocha

There are many sides to the Imo governorship poll, both before and after the Supreme Court last week gave its controversial decision on who won it. The apex court dethroned the Peoples Democratic Party’s, Emeka Ihedioha, who had earlier scaled the lower tribunal and Court of Appeal judgements to retain his governorship stool. The apex court did not think he won it. By a unanimous decision, they declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Hope Uzodinma, won the 2019 governorship poll after adding some of his votes said to have been illegally excluded.

One side to the apex court decision is of course the arithmetical fecundity of the Supreme Court, which, by adding the said excluded votes, brought the total votes cast in last March’s governorship poll to a figure much higher than the accredited voters. Let the mathematicians take their lordships to task on that spirited BODMAS. Here, this column would like to concern itself with two other indirectly related aspects of the apex court decision. One is the reaction of the immediate past governor, Rochas Okorocha, whose obstinacy created the confusion within his party, the APC, that probably led to the dispute which was finally resolved by the courts last week. The former governor’s merry reaction spanned before and after the poll, thus demonstrating his unusual capacity for mental gymnastics.

Reacting to the final victory of Mr Uzodinma, Mr Okorocha declared that “Today, my hope in the Nigerian state has been further strengthened. The Supreme Court has delivered justice to the good people of Imo State and reinforced our belief that illegality has no place in our polity. I congratulate Governor Hope Uzodinma wholeheartedly. I also congratulate all Imolites…” But this was the same Mr Okorocha who fractured the APC before the election, threw his lot fully with his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, thus opening himself to the derision of trying to create a dynasty in Imo, and defied both his party and the sprightly and hysterical party chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, whom he abused heartily. So, when did the Supreme Court decision become, in his view, justice? Then he finds the equanimity to congratulate Mr Uzodinma wholeheartedly, the same man he pilloried in unexampled terms and humiliating epithets. Alas.

Indeed, hear Mr Okorocha excoriating Mr Uzodinma before the poll: “It would require God talking from heaven and telling Imo people, ‘Chief Hope Uzodinma is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased’ before Imo people could consider changing their minds. If not, Imo people know those who cannot be their governor. Chief Uzodinma knows this fact and he should stop using the governor to deceive his sponsors.” Mr Okorocha authorised his spokesperson, Sam Onwuemeodo, to issue that statement in December 2018. It is stupefying that having mocked Mr Uzodinma in glowing ecclesiastical language, Mr Okorocha could turn round to find him worthy of the Imo stool, speak cheerfully of justice having been done, and enthusiastically rallying the party behind the new state CEO.

Do not expect the flip-flopping Mr Okorocha to be the last political gymnast in these parts. The victorious Mr Uzodinma does not have a single state legislator from the convoluted 2019 poll or as a result of last week’s apex court judgement that enthroned him. In the weeks ahead, there will be obscene horse-trading that will see many assemblymen leaping crazily over the fence. Mr Nwosu’s Action Alliance, which is invariably at the beck and call of Mr Okorocha, will carry out insider trading of the most benumbing variety, and the gloomy PDP, already feeling beleaguered and bewildered by the many judgements issuing from the courts, will scratch its head to find the formula to stave off complete disaster. They will need a strongman and a deep pocket to keep them somnolent and chewing the cud on their own side of the fence for the next four years.

It is not clear whether the dethroned Mr Ihedioha was lured into complacency by the lower tribunal’s and Court of Appeal’s judgements. But whatever his feelings, and no matter what he was prepared to do to avoid defeat, the apex court was in no mood to let political and electoral logic or even mathematics inconvenience them. Their minds were made up, and they were made up in inaccessible algorithmic brevity to the disfavour of Mr Ihedioha. Their lordships have thus opened up new jurisprudential vistas, so far-reaching that it will take years for the denizens of Nigeria’s legal arcanum to penetrate or decode. More, they have also reset the button of Imo State, and it will take swelteringly long months to finally put the whole matter to rest, matter that seems to mix electoral and judicial comedies in powerful and baffling allegories. (The Nation)



Source: News Express

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