* Removal an assault on democracy, rule of law– ADF
Dozens of church leaders in Imo State have called on the Supreme Court of Nigeria to review its judgement that voided the election of Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the governor of the state while declaring Senator Hope Uzodinma as the new governor.
This is just as the Working Committee of the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) has described the removal of Ihedioha as the Imo state governor by the Supreme Court as a mindless assault on Democracy and Rule of Law which is its foundation.
Addressing a press conference at the headquarters of the Charismatic Renewal Ministries (CRM) in Owerri, the state capital on Wednesday, Rt. Rev. Chidi Oparaojiaku who spoke on behalf of the church leaders under the auspices of the Concerned Church Leaders Forum, said the judgment ran “counter to the facts on ground and raises a lot of questions.”
Bishop Oparaojiaku, who doubles as the Anglican Bishop of Ohaji-Egbema, questioned the rationale upon which the Apex Court arrived at its judgment, warning that the judgment, ‘if not justified’, would set a bad precedent for the judiciary and democracy in the country.
The church leaders, therefore, urged the Supreme Court to review the judgment to ensure that justice was served in the overall interest of peace, unity, development and continued survival of democracy in the state and Nigeria in general.
Oparajiaku said, “it is not that Christian leaders hate the newly sworn-in Governor of Imo State who is undoubtedly an Imolite, but the judgment has raised a lot of unanswered questions.
“Where there is therefore any perceived act of injustice, we are morally authorized to speak out and question the modalities for the injustice.
“We are deeply worried about what will be the fate of future elections in Nigeria if the courts are allowed to use technicalities to subvert the will of the electorate.
“The general public, and especially Imolites will like to know how the Supreme Court arrived at the decision which plants injustice.
“In view of the above, we join millions of Nigerians to call on the Supreme Court of Nigeria to review that judgment; urge Imolites and all interest groups to ensure that only the way of peace, maturity and godliness is employed in handling this sensitive matter.”
In another development, the Alaigbo Development Foundation (ADF) has said that it was not only rejecting the Supreme Court judgement that removed Ihedioha as governor but condemned the ruling of the judgement as a mindless assault on democracy and rule of law which is its foundation.
In a document issued by Prof. Uzodinma Nwala and Prof. Nath Aniekwu, president and secretary of ADF respectively, the group said, “It (the judgement) is, above all, an arrogant assault on the fundamental right of Imo people to decide those to whom they give their mandate to preside over their political affairs for the next four years”.
The statement said the ADF position was based on a number of factors surrounding the judgement, among which was “the technical and substantive impossibility of a candidate who came fourth in the election with just only 96,45 votes and came 4th in the Governorship Election would overtake every other candidate to defeat the number one candidate who scored 273, 404 votes.
“And this is a candidate whose Party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), did not win any seat in the State House of Assembly Election held simultaneously with the Presidential in the 2019 General Election.
“What is more, the manner in which the Justice Tanko-led Supreme Court judges did their on-the-spot calculations and came to their conclusion is so bizarre that one wonders whether this is happening in a normal human society or in Alice’s Wonderland.
“The Justice Tanko-led Supreme Court appears to be desperately keeping faith with the grand design for which Justice Tanko was brazenly fostered on the Nigerian Judiciary after Justice Onnoghen was hounded out of office.
“Our people in Imo State and the entre Igbo nation should regard the removal of the legitimately elected Governor of Imo State as a great assault on the Regional solidarity of Alaigbo, especially now that Regional cohesion is vital to the defense and security of Alaigbo from the invaders”.
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