The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued a certificate of return to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Hope Uzodinma, following his victory at the Supreme Court as the governor-elect of Imo state.
The certificate of return was presented to Uzodinma by INEC national commissioner, May Agbamuche-Mbu in the presence of national commissioners; Abubakar Nahuche and Dr Mustafa Lecky at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.
The certificate of return came barely 24 hours after the Supreme Court nullified the election of Emeka Ihedioha as the governor of the state and declared Hope Uzodinma the winner of the election.
A seven-man panel led by Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad unanimously declared the former senator the winner of the March 19 governorship election.
Uzodinma had contended that he scored the highest number of votes in the election adding that INEC had returned Ihedioha as the governor of the state wrongly.
Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun who delivered the majority of the judgment declared that the votes due to Uzodinma were unlawfully excluded from the 318 polling units and should be added to his votes.
The Supreme Court also considered the submissions of a principal witness who was on a subpoena to present results and held that the lower court was wrong in its ruling.
While reading the lead judgment, Justice Kekere-Ekun declared Uzodinma as the validly elected governor and asked that the certificate of return issued to Ihedioha be withdrawn immediately.