The Supreme Court of Nigeria has giving reasons why it accepted the results sheets presented by Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State.
Naija News recalls that the Supreme Court headed by Justice Tanko Muhammad has sacked the incumbent, Governor Ihedioha from office.
The seven-man panel of the apex court in a unanimous decision held that Ihedioha did not win the majority of votes cast at the March 9 governorship election.
In the Judgment delivered by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the court accordingly ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Ihedioha and issue a fresh Certificate of Return to the candidate of the APC on grounds that he won the majority of lawful votes cast at the election.
The court held that the lower courts erred in law when it rejected evidence tendered before them to the extent that votes from 388 polling units were not credited to the APC and Uzodinma.
In a copy of the judgement obtained by Naija News on Thursday, the Supreme Court said the result sheets by Uzodinma became admissible because INEC did not counter them when produced by the APC governor.
According to the apex court, the Appeal Court and the election petition tribunal misread the pleadings by Uzodinma and APC in their dismissal of the petition and appeal.
However, Justice Kekere-Ekun said while INEC alleged that the results pleaded by Uzodinma, through the police officer, were false, it did not call any witness and did not counter it by tendering any documents.
She said: “Having pleaded that the documents are false, the respondents made allegations of a criminal nature against the appellants.
“They were required to plead the specific elements of fraud and lead evidence showing the genuine results. Not only must the allegations be proved beyond reasonable doubt, it must also be proved that the appellants personally committed or aided and abetted the commission of the crime or that they procured the commission of the crime through their agents or officials.”