The Supreme Court has come under attack for allegedly cowering to external influence which has forced it to shift the determination of two cases that seek to decide the fate of incumbent Governor, Hope Uzodimma for the November 11 governorship election in Imo State.
Uzodimma was declared the winner of the 2019 governorship election by the Supreme Court in 2020, which removed incumbent Governor, Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The two cases were instituted when Ugwumba Uche Nwosu was disqualified from contesting the 2019 governorship poll that he held double nomination of the All Progressives Congress and Action Alliance, AA, respectively.
Both the PDP and APP candidates approached the apex court for interpretation of the effect of the judgment sacking Nwosu who held double nomination of APC and AA and to also enforce the verdict against Uzodimma.
After three years of waiting, the apex court caved into pressure and fixed October 31 as the date to determine the suits as the Imo governorship election draws closer.
But it was gathered that the apex court had shifted the date on Monday to determine the case to December 5, more than three weeks after the governorship election must have been held.
According to the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, the apex court must have been induced financially to move the date.
In a text of a press conference signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, on Monday, the group noted that despite its alarm that the court was being pressured to shift the date to give judgment on the matter, due to “external interference and alleged financial inducements as we heard, the Supreme Court today, against all rational expectations, moved the hearing date to December 5th.”
He stated that “Heavy pressure was brought to bear on the Supreme Court” to decide the matter since it has lingered for three years, it has decided otherwise.
He alleged that “There were allegations that a humongous amount of money in dollar-denominated notes exchanged hands to scuttle the October 31st hearing date.
“Today (Monday), the Supreme Court capitulated to these external pressures.
“So we are warning that just like what Justice John Tsoho said, the confidence of Nigerians in the court system is being eroded and this uncertainty and influences coming from politicians that destabilised the hearing of sensitive and strategic litigation is capable of unleashing anarchy,” Onwubiko said.
The National President of the Association for Public Policy Analysis, Chief Comrade Princewill Okorie, confirmed the shift in date to THE WHISTLER saying, “The information reaching us is that the hearing date has been shifted from October 31 to December 5.”
When contacted, the Supreme Court Press Secretary, Festus Akande, said “I’m not aware. I’m just arriving in Abuja.”