On this point, he argued that having regard to section 140(2) of the Electoral Act (as amended), the Appellants/Respondents divested this Honourable Court of the relevant jurisdiction to declare the 1st Appellant/ Respondent as the winner of the gubernatorial election conducted in Imo State on the 9th day of March 2019 by branding or stigmatizing the entire election as invalid.“This Honourable Court had no jurisdiction to declare the 1st Appellant/Respondent as elected in an election petition which was based on two inconsistent and mutually exclusive grounds, to wit, (i) that the 1st Applicant was not duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the election, the implication of which is that the majority of votes cast at the election were valid; and (ii) that the election was invalid for non-compliance with the Electoral Act, the implication of which is that the election be annulled.This Honourable Court did not have the jurisdiction to declare the 1st Appellant/Respondent as elected in the absence of any proof that the votes ascribed to him met the mandatory geographical spread stipulated in section 179 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).This Honourable court did not have the jurisdiction to declare that the 1st Appellant/Respondent met the constitutional geographical spread without providing in its judgment the reason(s) for that conclusion.
The court said Ihedioha was returned as governor of Imo State based on wrong computation of the election results in the state.
In the lead judgment delivered by Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, the court voided the concurrent decisions of the tribunal and Court of Appeal, which had declared Ihedioha winner of the poll on the grounds that they both failed to take into account votes from 388 polling units in the election.
Justice Kekere-Ekun said that the lower court misconstrued the case of the appellants that he was challenging the validity of the election whereas he was challenging the unlawful exclusion of votes in the 388 polling units.
In addition, the court held that the excluded votes from the 388 polling units be ascribed to the appellants.
Consequently the apex court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Ihedioha and issue a fresh one to the candidate of the APC, Uzodinma, on the grounds that he won majority of lawful votes cast in the election.