The Supreme Court ruling installing Hope Uzodinma as Imo State Governor; has ignited a gale of defection in the state. Speaker of the Imo House of Assembly, Collins Chiji on Tuesday announced his defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Incidentally, Uzodinma is a member of the APC, which doubles as the ruling party at the centre.
Chiji, who made the announcement during the plenary session of the House; also announced the defection of seven other lawmakers from the PDP to the APC.
The lawmakers are Dominic Ezerioha (Oru West), Chigozie Nwaneri (Oru East), Kanayo Onyemaechi (Owerri West) and Kennedy Ibeh (Obowo). Others include Uche Ogbuagu (Ikeduru), Michael Njoku (Ihitte Uboma) and Eddy Obinna (Aboh Mbaise).
Equally important, the development brings the total number of APC lawmakers from 10 to 18; with the defection of nine lawmakers on Tuesday, January 21, 2019. With the recent defections, the PDP is left with eight members in the House.
Ihedioha’s ouster sparked a gale of defection
1st News reports that the Supreme Court had in a unanimous judgment on Tuesday January 14, 2020 sacked Emeka Ihedioha as Governor of Imo State. Further, it declared Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the election. In addition, the apex court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue Uzodinma certificate of return.
However, the decision came as a result of a major point overlooked by the Imo State Election Petition Tribunal; as well as the Court of Appeal.
A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court in its decision held that Ihedioha did not win majority of votes cast; at the March 9, 2019 governorship elections.
In the judgment delivered by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun; the court accordingly ordered the INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Ihedioha; and issue a fresh Certificate of Return to the candidate of the APC on grounds that; he won majority of the lawful votes cast at the election. Also, the court ordered the immediate swearing in of Uzodinma as lawful winner of the governorship election in Imo State.