While the dust of the former governor of Imo State, Ethelbert Okorocha’s son-in-law crash over the Supreme Court Ruling negating his acclaimed candidature on the platform of Action Alliance, the appellate court sitting in Abuja has upheld the ruling of the Federal High Court which voided the candidature of Uche Nwosu as Governorship standard bearer of the Action Alliance in the 2019 general election in Imo State over double nomination.
In its ruling in a matter brought to it by the Action Peoples Party (APP), the Federal High Court had ruled that Uche Nwosu was not qualified to stand election based on the fact that he already had a valid ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC)
Not satisfied with the ruling of the lower court, Nwosu had approached the Court of Appeal to put the decision to further test.
The Court dismissed all issues raised by Uche Nwosu in his appeal. According to the Court, the act of double nomination was “immoral”.
Recall that Uche Nwosu in a desperate bid to have his way in concert with his father-in-law, Mr. Okorocha, amid internal schism brought upon the party by the duo, had dashed out to secure a nomination from AA while still holding unto APC nomination, thereby holding unto two nomination forms, an action that drew the anger of Nigerians.
On the argument of Nwosu that since the matter arose before the election, thereby making such a pre-election matter, he prayed that the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain it any longer. The Court of Appeal delivered a resounding decision – that since the double nomination rendered Uche Nwosu’s nomination a nullity he cannot use time factor to validate a void act, in this case his void double nomination.
The effect of this judgement is that Uche Nwosu was not a valid candidate at the recently held gubernatorial election in Imo state. The further implication is that all the votes given to Uche Nwosu at that election are void votes.
Further, even in the court of Appeal or subsequently the Supreme court decides to dabble into calculation of majority of votes cast in at least two-thirds of all the local governments in Imo State, Uche Nwosu’s votes will not be taken into account because at law they are taken as not to have existed in the first place.
Delivering judgment on the matter with the suit number; CA/A/785/2019, the Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the Federal High Court and went ahead to award the cost of N100,000 against Nwosu in favour of the respondents; Action Peoples Party, National Vice Chairman of APP, Uche Nnadi, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC)
It will be recalled that on Tuesday, 22nd October 2019 the Supreme Court unanimously allowed Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha’s appeal, setting aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal and restoring the ruling of the Tribunal wherein AA was struck out.
The Supreme court in a landmark judgment in Appeal Number SC. 1185/2019 – IHEDIOHA EMEKA V. UCHE NWOSU 4 ORS. decided that, it was an abuse of court process for AA as a political party after applying to have its name struck out of the petition which Uche Nwosu had filed to turn around to challenge the striking out of its name on appeal to the Court of Appeal.