Rochas Okorocha, a former Imo governor, has on Wednesday, January 15, 2019, has assured the new governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma of his unflinching support.
Governor Uzodinma was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the March 2019 governorship poll in Imo State. Okorocha opposed his candidacy, opting for Uche Nwosu, his then-chief of staff and son-in-law.
Supreme court sacked Emeka Ihedioha as governor of Imo state and affirmed Uzodinma as the winner of the March 9 governorship election.
A seven-man panel of justices in a unanimous decision on Tuesday held that Ihedioha did not win the majority of votes cast in the election.
Reacting to the judgment, Senator Rochas Okorocha congratulated Ihedioha and called on all hands to be on deck to support Hope Uzodinma.
Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the presiding judge who read the judgment, ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Ihedioha and give a fresh one to his APC rival.
“The votes due to the appellant, Hope Uzodinma and the All Progressives Congress, APC, from 388 polling units were wrongly excluded from scores ascribed to them,” Justice Kekere-Ekun ruled.
“It is hereby ordered that Emeka Ihedioha, was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the said election. His return as the elected governor of Imo state is hereby declared null and void and accordingly set aside.
“It is hereby declared that the first appellant (Uzodinma) holds the majority of lawful votes cast at the governorship election held in Imo State on March 9, 2019, and has satisfied the mandatory constitutional requirement.
“It is hereby declared that first appellant, Senator Hope Uzodinma is the winner of the governorship of Imo State held on March 9, 2019.
“The certificate issued to the first respondent (Ihedioha) is hereby withdrawn. It is hereby ordered that the certificate of return shall be issued to the first appellant, senator Hope Uzodinma, forthwith and he should be sworn in as the governor of Imo State,” the judge added.