The Supreme Court has said that the governorship candidate of Action Alliance (AA) in the 2019 gubernatorial election in Imo State, Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, was not qualified to vie for the election as he doubled as both the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and that of AA. In a lead judgment read by Justice Amina Augie, the apex court held that by virtue of double candidature, Nwosu ab intio was not qualified to vie for the office. Nwosu had won the nomination to contest under APC, the internal wrangling within the ruling party made it impossible for him to be presented as the party’s candidate, which necessitated his defection to AA at the dying minute.
The judgment was sequel to a suit by the Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere led Action Peoples Party, (APP). The judgment was concurred by the Presiding Justice RhodesVivour, Justices Mary Peter- Odili, and Ejimbi Eko and C.C Nweze.
The Supreme Court held that by virtue of Uche Nwosu’s double candidature and in line with the clear provisions of the Electoral Act, he was bound to be disqualified from the election and affirmed the judgments of the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Reacting to the judgment, the Election Petition Appeal against the election of Governor Emeka Ihedioha also before the apex court by Uche Nwosu was dead and buried as Uche Nwosu was not a validly nominated candidate for the election and therefore lacks the locus to file a petition before the Governorship Election Tribunal.
Ugochinyere said, “The implication of today’s Supreme Court judgment that quashed Uche Nwosu Candidature means that Uche Nwosu/AA Party never had any governorship candidate in Imo 2019 guber election and like the Supreme Court decided in Zamfara all the votes cast for Uche Nwosu/AA was invalid and for you to calculate whether Gov. Ihedioha met two third you have to remove Uche Nwosu/AA void votes and you will see that Ihedioha crossed the constitutional threshold without any doubt.