Tension and anxiety have gripped residents of Imo, Sokoto and Benue States as the Supreme Court delivers judgment on appeals challenging the validity of the declaration of Emeka Ihedioha, Aminu Tambuwal and Samuel Ortom as governors.
A Notice signed by Ibrahim Gold, Director/HoD, Litigation, dated January 10, 2020, said the appeals would be listed for hearing before the Supreme Court of Nigeria on January 13, 2020.
Daily Sun confirmed that hearing notice has been issued to all the parties to the appeals.
In Imo, multiple appeals are contesting the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which upheld the decision of the election tribunal that agreed with the declaration of Ihedioha as governor by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
A five-member panel of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal had dismissed all the three separate appeals challenging the victory of Emeka Ihedioha in the March 9 governorship election in Imo State.
The Justice Oyebisi Omoleye-led panel in a majority judgment held that the appeals lacked merit.
The appeals filed against the judgment of the Imo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which upheld the election of Ihedioha, include that of the All Progressives Grand Alliance and his governorship candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Ararume; Action Alliance and its governorship candidate, Uche Nwosu; and that of the All Progressives Congress and its governorship candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma.
In their various submissions, the appellants are asking the court to set aside the decision of the tribunal and declare them winner of the March 9 governorship election or in the alternative order INEC to conduct a fresh election.
The three-man panel of the tribunal had in an unanimous decision delivered on September 21 held that Ihedioha was lawfully declared winner of the governorship election by INEC.
Similarly, the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja had upheld the election of Governor Ortom and dismissed the appeal filed by the APC and its candidate in the poll, Emmanuel Jime, for lacking in merit.
The court also awarded N150,000 fine against Time.
In Sokoto, police said it has deployed no fewer than 1,000 personnel as the Supreme Court is set to hear the Appeal brought before it by the candidate of the APC, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto.
The Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Kaoje, who disclosed this on Sunday, said the measure was to ensure peace reigns before and after the hearing.
Kaoje said: “We are on a 24-hour red alert and we are on standby, round the clock, 24/7.
“We will not waiver in our sustained routine and surprise tactics to keep the peace.
“We will leave no stone unturned in keeping the State safe and secure for all the law abiding residents to conduct their lawful businesses.
“The strategy would be maintained until further notice in line with the recent directive issued by the Inspector General of Police on a 24-hour, nationwide red alert.
“The massive deployment of our officers and men has by the special grace of God paid off and we will not relent in our efforts.
“This is to ward off any unpatriotic persons from breaching the peace as well as the unrepentant criminals.”
Sokoto had dragged Governor Tambuwal before the Supreme Court over his re-election.
The Tribunal and Appeal Courts had dismissed APC’s petition for lacking in merits on October 2 and November 22, 2019 respectively.
The four-member panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal Court, Sokoto Division in their unanimous judgment read by Presiding Justice Husseini Mukhtar agreed that the petition filed by APC and its candidate lacked merit.