Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, Chief Justice of Nigeria, has reflected on Tuesday’s judgment of the Supreme Court, which sacked Emeka Ihedioha as governor of Imo State and affirmed Hope Uzodinma as winner of the 2019 election.
Mohammed, speaking on the judgment on Wednesday, warns politicians who intend to rig elections to stay off or be disgraced by the court.
The CJN said it is better for judges to do the right thing because of integrity, than lose it and still be condemned by God thereafter.
“Anybody that knows he won election by rigging should excuse himself before we disgrace him judiciously”.
“Is better we do justice and inherit the kingdom of heaven than to align with political criminals and lose our integrity and be condemn hereafter by God.
“I have warn judges handling election cases, I will monitor them, where I’m not, God will be there watchin,” he was quoted by Voice of Nasarawa.
In a unanimous decision, a seven-man panel held that Ihedioha did not win majority of votes cast in the election.
Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the judge who read the judgement, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Ihedioha and give a fresh one to Uzodinma, a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“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,” she held.
“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.
Following the controversy that trailed the apex court’s decision, legal experts in the country have hailed the ruling.
Ihedioha’s legal team were blamed for the error, as the opposing team were able to turn in what was termed “apparently concocted results”, signed by INEC presiding officers from more than 350 polling units, which gave Uzodinma an unassailable lead.