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Ihedioha Vs. Uzodinma: 10 grounds upon which S’Court may reverse itself

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As the whole world and Nigerians interested in enduring constitutional democracy open their ears very wide today, February 18, 2020 to hear how the Supreme Court of Nigeria will decide the appeal filed by removed Imo State Governor, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP against his ouster, clear 1o grounds upon which the apex court can reverse itself have been smoked out.

Citing the suit; Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc v L. G. C. Ltd (2020) 2 NWLR (Pt. 1707) 1 @ 17* , the Supreme Court per Abba Aji, JSC held inter alia that the Supreme Court has the power to set aside its Judgement, and rehear same under the following circumstances:

  1. Where there is a clerical mistake in the Judgement or Order;
  2. Where there is an error arising from an accidental slip or omission;
  3. Where there arises the necessity for carrying out its own meaning and to make its intention plain;
  4. Where any of the parties obtained judgement by fraud or deceit;
  5. Where such a decision is a nullity;
  6. Where it is obvious that the Court was misled into giving the decision under a wrong belief that the parties consented to it;
  7. When the judgement was given without jurisdiction;
  8. Where the procedure adopted was such as to deprive the decision or judgement of the character of a legitimate adjudication;
  9. Where the writ or application was not served on the other party, or there is denial of fair hearing;
  10. Where the decision/judgement is contrary to public policy and will perpetuate injustice.
Imo Ihedi Hope
Former Gov. Ihedioha and current Gov. Uzodinma

Recall that the core reason for the appeal filed by Ihedioha was based on the embarrassing and fraudlent way and manner votes were alloted on the INEC disowned result sheet of 388 polling units presented by Senator Uzodinma (which had eralier been rejected both by the Tribunal and Appealete court) which the apex court relied upon to recompute Imo guber election results leading to his eventual winning by highest number of votes.

A set of constitutional legal luminaries have already picked grounds number 2, 4, 6, 8 and possibly 10 above as possible grounds to upturn the January 14, 2020 judgment which sacked Ihedioha and returned Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Imo Ihedioha and Deputy
Imo State Governor-Elect, Hon Emeka Ihedioha and his deputy, receiving their certificate of return from INEC

Besides the expected fireworks at the Supreme Court Tuesday, there are strong indication ns that several prominent world leaders and Nigerian public figures both partisans and none partisans would follow minute by minute proceedings at the apex court.

Already, Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, the architect of current Nigerian democracy, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, Prof. Pat Utomi, leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the International community and various civil society groups are confirmed to monitor the Tuesday Supreme Court review to forestall further irregularities in the nation’s troubled judiciary.

Imo Hope INEC
New Governor-elect of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma receiving his certificate of return from INEC in Abuja ahead of swering in

Other persons engaged by the Third Force Movement (TFM) consisting of eminent academics and organized civil society to monitor the review include former Imo State Military Administrator, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu (rtd), Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), Comrade Shehu Sanni, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Alhaji Balarebe Musa amongst others.

Buhari Tanko
President Buhari in a handshake with Justice Tanko Mohammed shortly after his swearing in as Acting CJN in Abuja on Friday, January 25, 2019

Business Hilights gathered late Monday evening that already, there are strong indication that Police may cordon off from more than 200m radius to the apex court complex to avoid breakdown of law and order.

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