By Nnnanna Igbonacho
The APC Imo Governorship candidate during the last election, Senator Hope Uzodinma was in Court in the past week where he testified as his own Star Witness at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Monday and Tuesday 16th and 17th July, 2019, in his petition against the victory of Governor Emeka Ihedioha. His legal team had tendered pink copies of Polling Unit results from almost all the local government areas in Imo State, which they claimed were excluded by INEC Ward Collation Officers.
Remember that Senator Hope Uzodinma’s case is that. 1. That most of the Polling Units where he won were not computed or collated. He is therefore urging the Court to compute those results and declare him the winner. 2. The second case is that the APC Ward Collation Agents were chased away from all LGA Collation Centers in the State where results that would have made him win were changed or mutilated.
Senator Hope Uzodinma testified on the 16th day of July, 2019 and was cross examined on the 17th day of July 2019 being Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. By the time he concluded his evidence, it was clear to all spectators at the hearing that the APC Governorship candidate had no case.
First as the petitioner he was supposed to give some life to the documents which he had identified and which he is relying on in asking for the Tribunal to declare him Governor as he prays in his petition.
1. Senator Hope Uzodinma failed to withstand most of the questions put to him by the Respondents’ counsels and even at times seems unsure of the contents of his own deposition (affidavit containing his evidence before the Court in support of his petition).
2. When He mounted the witness box, he failed woefully to steady his already wobbling petition.
3. When he was asked if he was challenging the INEC declaration of AA and APGA who came 2nd and 3rd respectively. It is shocking that someone who wants to be declared winner from the 4th position did not know that he was supposed to also challenge the results of those who came 2nd and 3rd positions. But Senator Uzodinma wants the scores of the 2nd and 3rd positions and declaration intact.
4. Senator Hope Uzodinma was asked how he arrived at the figures with which he wants the tribunal to declare him the winner and his answer was that he used a calculator to calculate it personally!
5. Senator Hope Uzodinma was asked about how he generated the REMITA receipts he used to pay for his petition? And he said that he does not know what REMITA is! (Every petitioner pays the petition costs through REMITA).
6. Senator Hope Uzodinma was asked if he knew that all the results he tendered were illegible and he answered that he does not know that they were illegible.
7. Senator Hope Hope Uzodinma was shown many results he tendered where he scored higher than other candidates and the total votes cast was far above the total number of accredited voters. The Senator answered that it was a typographical error. When pressed further to try read the very results he produced and relies on, He answered that the result was unreadable.
8. Senator Hope Uzodinma was asked why he chose to sue only PDP when the AA and APGA candidates also scored above him coming 2nd and 3rd respectively. He said he was only interested in PDP candidate who was declared winner.
9. When Senator Hope Uzodinma was asked, who is the Governor of Imo State, he continued to prevaricate. He asked whether it was present Governor or the past Governor? When the question was pressed on him, he answer that the Governor of Imo State is “alleged Emeka Ihedioha”. The whole Court burst into laughter.
10. Senator Hope Uzodinma was asked the question that since he wants to be declared winner, who then scores 2nd 3rd and 4th in the result which he purports INEC should declare him the winner. He became puzzled and said he didn’t know who came second. When pressed further, he said PDP came 2nd but failed to say the position of the AA and APC candidates in his voodoo results.
11. If anybody expected anything to come out from the Hope Uzodinma petition, his testimony as primary witness buried the petition for good.
But like the Senator’s case, his follow up witnesses further finished his case. One after the other, his LGA Collation Agents from the 27 LGAs testifying after him did not help his case. The highlight of Senator Hope Uzodinma’s witnesses are as follows;
1. They all identified the purported Pink Copies of the Booth results they purported were not collated and that if collated would make them winner.
2. In all the purported results, only APC was clear in the entry. The other parties were either not clear or not recorded at all.
3. In all the results which they are urging the Court to rely on, all Senator Uzodinma LGA agents told the Court that it is illegible and unreadable.
4. In all the results which they were urging the Court to rely on, vital entries were not made in most columns.
5. In all the results which they are urging the Court to rely on to declare them winner, there was none that the names of Presiding Officers that signed it can be read. Even the INEC Counsel is disputing the authenticity of the result.
6. In all the results which they are urging the Court to rely on to declare them winner, the total number of votes distributed to the parties is higher and above the total number of votes cast.
7. When asked whether they want the Court to rely on their unreadable, mutilated, incoherent and inconsistent results to give them Judgment, none of the Hope Uzodinma witnesses had courage to say yes. They rather urged the Court to use the evidence before it.
8. All the Hope Uzodinma witnesses could only read out only APC results. When asked to read what other parties scored, they say it is not readable.
9. In most cases the Hope Uzodinma witnesses showed that the results entered in figures were totally inconsistent with the results recorded in words.
10. The APC LGA Collation Agents claimed their Ward Collation Agents were chased out of the LGA Collation Center, but themselves were never chased away. What a coincidence.
11. All the APC LGA Collation Officers agreed that they didn’t collect the Pink Copy duplicate copy of the Poling Result Sheets they presented and are relying on from APC Polling Agents. They all agree they saw them at the State Party Secretariat in custody of the State Party Chairman.
12. In all the results, the names of the Presiding Officers who signed the results cannot be read.
It is shocking therefore that a petitioner and his witnesses could not read out the results they produced as the pink copies which they tendered in evidence.
How did someone tender result sheets that are unreadable and asking the Court to declare him winner? It is clear that APC has no serious case at the Tribunal against the victory of Governor Ihedioha.
Remember Senator Hope Uzodinma’s case succeeds or fails on the Pink Copy Results which he dumped before the Court seeking to be declared winner by it. Now you know better.
You cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand.