Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives (2011 -2015), and Governor of Imo State (May 29, 1999 – January 14, 2020) was removed from office by a seven-man panel of Supreme Court Justices in what would be remembered for a long time as one of the most earth-shaking moments in the history of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. By failing to make its ruling available promptly, and the reasons for its decision to award victory to Senator Hope Uzodinma who came fourth in the March 9, 2019 Gubernatorial election in Imo State, the Supreme Court of Nigeria has created room for speculations and for imaginations to run riot.
The Ihedioha case is test case for the maxim that “justice must not only be done; it must be seen to have been done.” No matter what their Lordships say, now or later, the dominant public opinion is that justice has not been done. Wittingly or unwittingly, the Supreme Court has turned every observer into a mathematician. How on earth, the people ask, did the Supreme Court arrive at a final tally of votes that exceed the number of registered and accredited voters? The protests in Imo state on Sunday and similar protests across the country, even in non-PDP states, is an indication that it is our fragile democratic process that is threatened. Hope Uzodinma loses in winning. Ihedioha is the real winner. His loss has transported him to a higher place of reckoning. He is the Prince of the People’s Hearts, beyond legal technicalities.