WHY APPEAL COURT WILL UPHOLD TRIBUNAL VICTORY VERDICT FOR IHEDIOHA

Now that the Court of Appeal led by Justice Oyebisi Omoleye have adopted the arguments by the counsels for the parties in the Imo governorship election petitions and appeals, reserving judgement for a date in the future, it’s safe and secure to make both passionate and dispassionate analysis of the process so far.

From the arguments of the appellants and those of the respondents/defendants, there are greater reasons than not for the appelate court to uphold the victory verdict of the tribunal for His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, CON, KSC, FNIFST, the Imo State governor.

Major among the reasons is that while the winner presented new pages to the narratives, the apparently conspiratorial petitioners/appellants replayed only the old song that the tribunal weighed critically and adjudged lacking in merit, warranting their throwing it away and upholding the victory of Gov. Ihedioha as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday, March 11, 2019.

For the obviously confused appellants, it remained a case of: “All we are saying is declare us winner or do a rerun”! It’s still baffling how a State will have three governors as those Siamese triplets have continued to present as a united front at the election, the tribunal and now the Court of Appeal!

There are no indications yet that the petitions and appeals are separate. Before the law it may be regarded as separate, but certainly not before the common sense of the people, who listen to the arguments of the three counsels for the three losers.

At the Appeal Court on Monday, November 11, 2019, the counsels for Imo PDP and Gov. Ihedioha, led by Chief Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN) and Chief Ken Njemanze (SAN), brought good news of certain salient and succinct legal decisions by competent courts of law of the land, including that by the apex court, the Supreme Court.

The good news was that, since after the victory verdict for Imo PDP and Gov. Ihedioha by the Tribunal, the Federal High Court in Abuja had given judgement that nullified the candidature of one of the petitioners/appellants, Chief Uche Nwosu over his officially having the gubernatorial tickets of both the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Action Alliance (AA) as the date of the election on Saturday, March 9, 2019!

The counsels for the respondents/defendants further told the Appeal Court the second good news about how on October 22, 2019, the Supreme Court upheld the judgment in which the name of Chief Uche Nwosu was struck out as the candidate of AA in the election.

In other words, while the Appeal Court on the candidature suit nullified the name of Chief Uche Nwosu as the candidate of AA in the election, the Supreme Court struck out the name of Chief Uche Nwosu as the candidate of AA in the election! That’s a double-barrel knockout!

Those were the only new addenda to the existing narrative from the tribunal which the Appeal Court heard on Monday, November 11. And it was reported by the counsels for the winners!

From the losers, they only repeated what they told the Tribunal. Nothing new! “Declares us winner or order a rerun!” Nothing new!

The point is, if the Tribunal decided that the prayers by the petitioners/appellants were an abomination in the sight of the law and couldn’t be granted, what’s the propensity for the same prayers to be granted by the appelate court?

It’s observable that while the petitioners/appellants aimed to mislead with their gang-up “we” and “our”, the judiciary successfully kept treating them as individual and separate, using secong person singular “you” and “your”!

I speak like a layman! If the Tribunal in its wisdom concluded that your prayers aren’t granted because they lack merit, the onus is upon you to prove to the appelate court, how your prayers have merit!

Just grumbling and telling the Appeal Court “my suit has merit but tribunal said it lacked merit”, isn’t enough. How does it have merit? What accords it merit? Those need to be proved by the petitioner/appellant! But they couldn’t!

The petitioners/appellants in the appeals on the Imo governorship election, from the layman point of view, couldn’t just prove why and how their prayers should be seen as having merit. Am sorry to say that! But that’s whole true!

On the other hand, the respondent/defendant, with fresh evidence to the Appeal Court, consolidated on their prayers at the Tribunal, insisting that the prayers of the petitioners/appellants lacked merit!

Nobody can participate in an election in election in Nigeria without belonging to a political party! Nigerian constitutional and electoral laws don’t provide for independent candidature!

In the judgment of the people, the Appeal Court jury shouldn’t have any problem upholding the verdict of the Tribunal. This proposition is premised on the evidence before the court occasioned by the arguments of the parties, which the Appeal Court adopted after many hours of hearing.

But as they say in court: “As the court pleases”! At least, that’s what could be deciphered from the personal opinion published by a professor of law, Nnamdi Obiaraeri, the self-acclaimed “5-Star Civilian General”, who strongly believes and promotes the idea that “A new normal is possible”!

In one of his points of views on elections, petitions and their matters arising recently, Obiaraeri had the following to submit:

*…DECONSTRUCTING THE “GRIEF MENTALITY” OF THE LOSER IN A POLITICAL CONTEST!📌*

“”Politics is service delivery but you can only get elected into public office via elections.

Contesting elections into public office is akin to applying for a big job via a competitive interview.

You put your all- you may get the job or may not be taken. Eiither way, life goes on!

Contesting elections is also like being a housemate in the Big Brother Naija alia BBN.

BBN is full of twists and turns but it is a reality show.

A BBN housemate had to be luckier than stronger to get to the final day as many get evicted from the Big Brother House for different rules.

Strstegies may fail, even as there are also fake evictions and fake housemates.

Only one BBN housemate carts home the star prize and this gives his or her fans the bragging right of backing the winning horse.

In contests into elective offices, ideally, the electorate are the employers and they choose who should serve them from the galaxy of candidates sponsored by the political parties.

At the end, only one person is elected and the many other candidates fall by the way side.

Ballots alone do not determine who wins elections because in reality, it is a different kettle of fish because the winner may be dragged to the Election Petition Tribunal and the matter is stretched until the final decision of the final appellate court.

Bottom line is that after the garagara and roforofo in the courts, only one person wins and there is no 2nd or 3rd place silver and gold consolation prizes like participating in Olympic Games.

You either win or lose. Chikena!

Experience has shown that in political office contests, one can win at the polls and still win in the Election Petition Courts. That one na *super correct double jackpot!*

One can lose at the polls and still lose at the Election Petition courts. That one na *double wahala for the owner of the dead body wey get accident!*

One can win at the polls and end up losing at the Election Petition courts. That one na *nearly cannot kill a bird!*

One can lose at the polls and win at the Election Petition court. That one na *correct Jackpot!*

Naturally, the winner will be very happy but how does it go with the loser(s) after the decision of the final court?

Hmm…truth be told, to lose no dey easy no to talk of losing in hard-core political contests that went from histrionics and dramatics of elections into extra time and sudden death penalty shoot out called Election Petitions and appeals emanating therefrom.

A loser in the *roguish business* of politics deserves his peace and quiet time to ruminate on things like what went wrong, how did I come to this kind of bind and who put me in this mess or devastation, how about the fake prophecies by commercial prayer warriors and bogus assurances along the line?

Certainly, losing at the Court of final jurisdiction is never like licking ice cream with one hand and having Sharwarma on another hand.

This conclusion is inevitable if you calculate the heavy cost implication of prosecuting general elections plus the unseen bazaar that goes on during election petitions by party candidates.

A loser at this high level is usually gripped with anxiety and pained about the expectations that went down the drain.

Who compensates the loser for the huge finances spent from aspiration to participating in party primaries to emerge as a candidate; from being a party candidate to running election campaigns; from inter party general election to declaration of result by INEC, and from Election Petition Tribunals to final Appeal.

Nobody requires to be told that there is usually heavy blood flow whenever they castrated a dog. The cloth wey goat dey chop na person get amooo.

A loser may need psychological support because some have invested more than they can lose and it is not an easy thing to wake up thinking of mounting debts owed capricious creditors.

No victory is expensive. The most expensive thing is loss or failure.

Victory can be explained but you cannot explain failure.

Victory has many relations and provokes euphoric feelings.

Failure is an orphan as unfortunately, anaghi agba 2nd na political contests.

Odiro easyooo to lose but to fail is to win.

Tomorrow is another day. “”

It’s on that thoughtful note of thoughts for food, that I rest my case, after due adumbration and submission, until soon again. Thanks!

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