Ihedioha Return: What Has Happened To Philip Umeadi vs Gov. Uzodinma’s Suit?

Ihedioha Uzodinma

It is no doubt that many Imolites anticipated the potential return of Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as the Executive Governor of Imo State on January 11, 2021. It can be recalled that the said date was scheduled by the Supreme Court of Nigeria, to hear a suit brought before it by Chief Phillip Umeadi (SAN), asking the Court to enforce its judgment on APC primaries for the 2019 Imo State Governorship election. However, January 11, 2021 came and go, with no report on what has happened to the suit which many are arguably waiting to see its outcome.

It can be recalled that many Nigerians have argued that the case offers the Supreme Court a rare opportunity to redeem its image following its previous judgment on January 14, 2020 that brought in Senator Hope Uzodinma as the Executive Governor of Imo State, or allow only one man to reduce the whole Supreme Court of Nigeria to a laughing stock. While some are of the opinion that the suit is effort in futility based on the ground that the Supreme Court has already decided on the Imo State Governorship election.

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No matter the school of thought one may belong to in this regard, it is however important that we understand the bone of contention in Chief Phillip Umeadi’s suit which is demanding that the Supreme Court enforce its judgment on APC’s primaries for the 2019 Imo State Governorship election. It should be noted that Umeadi (SAN) is not in any way, challenging the January 14, 2020 judgement which brought in Senator Hope Uzodinma, but to demand that the Apex Court enforce her own judgment.

It is no doubt that judgement is nothing if not enforced. The judgment which brought in Senator Hope Uzodinma as the governor of Imo State was immediately enforced, which is why is is occupying that position today. So, was the judgment that disqualified David Lyon, his deputy and APC from the Bayelsa state election enforced. This is why we have Senator Duoye Diri as the State’s Governor today. As such, enforcement of Supreme Court judgments are not new to the country, abd and can be argued to be where the power of the Apex Court is exercised. Therefore, Umeadi’s suit demanding the enforcement of the judgment on APC primaries for the 2019 Imo State Governorship election may not be effort in futility as many have argued.

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It can be recalled that the Supreme Court in December 2020 has ruled that Uche Nwosu, a son-in-law to former Governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha is the duly nominated candidate of the APC for the March 2019 Imo State Governorship election, leaving Senator Hope Uzodinma as no candidate for the election. However, he (Uche Nwosu) was also nominated by the Action Alliance (AA). This by its implications as dual nomination, disqualifies him and both political parties (APC and AA) from taking part in that election.

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With this judgment already passed by the Supreme Court, one may begin to wonder why the judgement was not enforced like other judgments. Therefore, the Chief Phillip Umeadi (SAN) Suit should not be mistaken as one challenging the Supreme Court judgment, but for the Apex Court to enforce her own judgment. Many Nigerians are anxiously waited to see if for any reason, the Apex court will fail to enforce her own judgement, and if so, what the reasons could be. But with January 11, 2021 now in the past, with no one saying anything about the outcome of the court hearing, we may begin to wonder about what could have happened to the suit.

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