The Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed three appeals challenging the election of Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo state.
A five-member panel of justices presided by Justice Oyebisi Omoyele on Tuesday dismissed the appeals by the Action Alliance (AA) candidate, Uche Nwosu; All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Hope Uzodinma and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Ifeanyi Ararume challenging the election of Ihedioha.
While the appeal by the AA and APGA were dismissed by unanimous judgements, that of the APC was decided by a four to one split judgement.
The appellants had in their appeal against the judgement of the Imo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Owerri contended that the election was marred by corrupt practices, non-compliance with the electoral laws and failure to secure the majority of lawful votes cast.
But the appellate court upheld the findings and conclusions of the tribunal in the March 9 election where Ihedioha polled 273,404 votes to emerge victorious.
The panel fined Ararume, Uzodinma and Nwosu N500,000 each.
Reacting to the judgement, counsel to the APC candidate, Olusola Oke (SAN) said it was good that one of the judges saw reason for their appeal and indicated their intention to challenge the judgement at the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Staff to the Imo state governor, Chris Okewulonu, has described the verdict as confirmation that “Ihedioha rightly and comprehensively won the governorship election. Justice has prevailed in this matter.”