By Maazi Obinna Akuwudike
On the 11th of January 2021, history would be made, which ever way the ruling goes. It is the day, the Supreme Court corrects itself of an error, that has painted the nation’s judicial system in very light, or it could be the day, the judiciary further ridicules the entire nation and itself.
The world is watching.
Philip Umeadi SAN, has approached the Supreme Court, to give clarity to two rulings, one affirming Uche Nwosu as the authentic candidate of the APC and AA, in the 2019 General Elections, and the other ruling that declared APC and by extension, Hope Uzodinma, winner of the election.
As the Court explains the rulings, Hope Uzodinma is expected to explain how he became the winner of an election, he didn’t contest in.
Even to the layman, the case is straightforward. This is when a chess player tells an opponent, checkmate. We’re eagerly waiting to see what the Surpreme Court does next at this stage.
If the Buhari administration, and by extension, the Surpreme Court, should uphold their claims to stand against corruption, and showcase the country as a pillar in the fight against corruption, Hope Uzodinma should have started packing his luggages from Government House by now, and power would return to the people on the 11th of January.
What a wonderful New Year gift it would be for pensioners who have been owed since Ihedioha left office, for civil servants whose salaries have been withheld and slashed, and for the people of Imo State, who felt robbed of their mandate, by what is probably the most unpopular court ruling in Nigeria’s history.
Should the Supreme Court kick Uzodinma out, a lot of things will take effect immediately.
Of course, he would have to leave Government House, like Ihedioha left it almost a year ago. He and his aides, would drop all Govenrment property in their possession, so it is advised, that any appointee driving a Govenrment vehicle and driven by a Govenrment driver, should endeavor not to travel on the 11th with the vehicle and driver.
Should the judgement go against Uzodinma, a badly treated driver, can step his now sacked boss down from the vehicle, and abandon him on the road in the middle of nowhere.
As Rt. Hon Emeka Ihedioha’s name has been stricken out for now, as having never been Govenror, Hope Uzodinma will also have the same done to his name.
Of course he would not lay claims to any pensions and by right, he could be asked to return all he earned while he occured the seat. Knowing Ihedioha, Uzodinma would not have any problem there as Ihedioha would not ask for a refund.
In his party the APC, that is where Uzodinma’s real political problems now begins.
Uzodinma has been locked in a very bitter battle, with former Govenror Rochas Okorocha over supremacy in the party.
If Uzodinma is sacked by the Surpreme Court, he would not find a soft landing within the party. With no ace as a bargaining chip, Rochas Okorocha takes over the party, and forces Uzodinma out of it.
Already, many have tipped Senator Ifeanyi Araraume as the 2023 Govenroship candidate of the Imo APC, with Uzodinma butted out of office, Araraume can as well pat himself on the back that the ticket would be his for the picking. He would have no resistance at all from a defeated Uzodinma.
Uzodinma may still have legal issues facing him, if he is sacked. Legal issues that his immunity had shielded him from, but which he would now be forced to face.
According to a Vanguard Newspaper publication, which you can read here, Uzodinma is faced with a $12m fraud scandal, over some contracts in Port Harcourt.
So far, he had been shielded from answering to those charges, but once he is stripped of his immunity clause, Uzodinma has no option that to clear his name, or do the time.
Some other political moves expected, would be a re-cross carpeting of State Assembly members, back to the PDP.
The Speaker of the State Assembly, would expectedly denounce Uzodinma, as he did Araraume who brought him into the State Assembly, in order to keep his seat.
The delay in the hearing of the Umeadi case, is believed to have been deliberate, as word on the streets believe the Supreme Court may be trying to get their story straight on the matter.
Uzodinma seems quite confident that he will win, making some stories about the reasons for the non-payment of pensions, slashes and non-payment of salaries and even moves to obtain billions in loans, believable.
With all the stories and rumours everywhere, one begins to wonder, is the courts really incorruptible?
I believe the outcome of their ruling, and whatever defense they come up with goes to answer that question.
Should Hope Uzodinma be sacked by the Surpreme Court, it could be safe to say, that politically, the Omuma born politician is finished.