Abuja – The fate of Governor Emeka Ihedioha of Imo state; that of the candidate of Action Alliance, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, a son-in-law to immediate past governor Rochas Okorocha; the flagbearer of All Progressives Grànd Alliance, Ifeanyi Araraume; and Hope Uzodimma of the All Progressives Congress is hanging on the balance as the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, on Monday reserved judgement on all the appeals seeking to unseat Ihedioha.
A 5-man panel of Justices led by Justice Oyebisi Omoleye reserved judgement in all the appeals in respect of the Imo state governorship election after parties had adopted their briefs of argument on Monday.
In the first appeal, the appellants, Ifeanyi Araraume and his party, APGA urged the Court of Appeal to allow their appeal, seeking the setting aside of the judgement of the Imo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Owerri, delivered on September 21.
Earlier, adopting his preliminary objection to the appeal, Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, counsel for the Governor Ihedioha (1st respondent) prayed the court to dismiss the appeal and grant the objection.
Araraume’s lead counsel, Prof Awa Kalu SAN, in opposition to the preliminary objection, urged the court to overrule and dismiss the objection.
In opposition to Araraume’s appeal, Aham Ejelam SAN, counsel to INEC; Onyechi Ikpeazu SAN, Ihedioha’s lawyer; and Ken Njemanze SAN representing PDP, all prayed the court to dismiss the appeal.
The panel also heard a cross-appeal filed by the PDP (3rd respondent), urging the appellate court to allow the appeal, while Araraume’s counsel prayed for its dismissal.
After adoption of briefs of argument by counsel, the panel reserved judgement.
Another appeal was instituted by the Action Alliance and its candidate, Uche Nwosu against INEC, Ihedioha, and the PDP.
Nwosu’s brief of argument was adopted by Adeniyi Akintola SAN.
INEC, Ihedioha and PDP, all opposed the preliminary objection and main appeal, insisting it was an abuse of court process because the appeal was filed after the Supreme Court, had on October 22, struck out the name of Nwosu as candidate of AA in the March 9, 2019 governorship election.
Similarly, the 2nd respondent (Ihedioha) filed a cross-appeal, which Araraume’s counsel, urged the court to dismiss for not complying with rule 9 of the practice direction of the Court of Appeal.
A cross-appeal by the PDP was withdrawn by Njemanze and was consequently struck out by the panel.
The final appeal was filed by the All Progressives Congress and its candidate, Hope Uzodimma challenging the September 21, judgement of the Tribunal which upheld the election of Governor Emeka Ihedioha.