The absurdity the Supreme Court wrought on Imo State
I will be forthright and upfront. No amount of legal hocus pocus can remedy the damage the allocation of more votes than voters has done to the Supreme Court judgement on Imo State. They wrote fiction.
Seven justices of the Supreme Court on January 14, 2020 enthroned Mr Hope Uzodinma, candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the March 9, 2019 gubernatorial election in Imo State, as the governor of the state. The Supreme Court upturned the verdicts of the election tribunal and the court of appeal. They also moved Hope Uzodinma’s position on the voters table for that election from number four to number one.
To do so, they performed magic. They engaged in legal skulduggery, including upturning the precedents the Supreme Court set only a few months back in similar cases. Unfortunately, they ignored the most important element. The justices of the Supreme Court failed the mathematics of the election, ending with a verdict that delivered more votes than voters.
It is scandalous. It reminds of the 1927 election in Liberia. Charles Dunbar Burgess King won the presidential election with over 15 times more votes than there were voters. His feat is captured in the Guinness Book of World Records for its infamy. He scored 234, 000 votes while the electorate numbered only 15, 000.
Before January 14, the results declared by INEC and upheld by two courts showed the following scores. Emeka Ihedioha had 273, 404 votes; Uche Nwosu of AA scored 190, 364; Ifeanyi Araraume (APGA) had 114, 676 and Hope Uzodinma of APC had 96, 458 votes. Others got 59, 803 votes. By the time the Supreme Court finished its reworking, Hope Uzodinma moved from 96, 458 votes to 309, 753. The Supreme Court got this magical number by adding votes from 388 polling units Hope Uzodinma demanded that the courts add. Curiously, all the votes bar none in those units went to Hope Uzodinma. There was no subtraction or addition to the votes of any other candidate. Does not make sense, right?
Before the Supreme Court, INEC recorded Imo State as having 823, 743 accredited voters while 714, 362 voted. After the Supreme Court, accredited voters remained at 823, 743 while votes went up to 927, 630.
There were 3, 523 polling units (PU) for the election in Imo State. INEC credited Uzodimma with 96, 458 votes from 3,153 PUs. Through the Supreme Court, he scored 213, 295 votes from only 388 PUs. Magical realism.
Lawyers are coming up with multifarious reasons why the Supreme Court is right or wrong on the judgement. As is the tendency of that clan, some suggest that you need a legal education to see the logic in the illogicality of the Supreme Court. It will not fly.
More significantly, we must tell the lawyers that law and the courts are too consequential for us to leave to only those who understand Latinic expressions and arcana. They matter to all of us.
At the end, the judgement hinged on the arithmetic. So, it is irrelevant whatever other considerations. It was the sum of the votes that counted. Unfortunately, all seven justices of the court failed elementary mathematics. They had an answer but were unable to do the work that yields that answer.
Supreme Court Imo 2020 reminds me of the famous OJ Simpson trial years ago in the United States. The trial of OJ Simpson came down to the gloves that the prosecution claimed he wore to kill his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend. OJ had to wear the gloves to prove his guilt or innocence. He did. Defence counsel Johnnie Cochran famously declared, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit”. It did not fit, and the court acquitted Simpson. In the matter of the Supreme Court judgement, we must assert, If the sums do not add up, we reject it as garbage judgement.
At the end, the judgement hinged on the arithmetic. So, it is irrelevant whatever other considerations. It was the sum of the votes that counted. Unfortunately, all seven justices of the court failed elementary mathematics. They had an answer but were unable to do the work that yields that answer. In mathematics, once you miss a step or two you will get null answers.
Note also how the justices sat on this case for only one day and passed judgement. Amazing speed.
The seeming agreement of all seven justices was a fig leaf meant to deceive people into thinking there was unanimity and therefore reasoned judgement. The deception has failed.
The judgement of the Supreme Court has gifted Imo State with a governor whose party did not win one single seat in the State House of Assembly. It is the nature of strange judgements. Walter Scott was right. The Supreme Court has weaved a tangled web because the motive was wrong ab initio. Absurd.