Jime Vs Ortom: Comparing Imo with Benue, highest level of mediocrity
Nigerian Concord Newspaper
The Supreme Court yesterday nullified the victory of former Imo State governor, Emeka Ihedioha, and declared APC candidate, Hope Uzodinma, as the winner of the 2019 gubernatorial election in the state.
That was a good judgement by our judiciary but, comparing that with the case of Benue where Governor Ortom won the cancelled votes before the Rerun and also won the Rerun too is the highest level of mediocrity.
But those who are not enlightened in Benue state have started likening the situation in Imo state with the one in Benue in a case between Emmanuel Jime and Samuel Ortom.
A critical look at both situations clearly explains that Ihedioha was removed just because the INEC unlawfully excluded the bulk votes which Uzodinma recorded in 388 polling units. These results were signed and announced by the INEC Presiding Officers right at the PUs. Note that it is only a competent Tribunal that can cancel any vote that is already announced by INEC’s presiding officers at polling units, and not the INEC itself.
This was exactly the complaint raised by Hope Uzodinma, and he got his votes restored by the Supreme Court. This actually made him hold the majority of lawful votes cast at the governorship election held in Imo State on March 9, 2019, and he was declared winner by the Apex Court.
How does the case in Benue resemble that of Imo state when Emmanuel Jime is only complaining of over voting in Guma and Logo LGs,and just an exclusion of result in only one PU in Katsina Ala, a result that was far less then 300 votes?
Before the Benue APC social media boys mislead the Benue people, let us ask them if Jime had ever complained that any of his votes which were declared by the INEC presiding officers was excluded at the Collation Centre? If the answer is no, then there is no way the Supreme Court can add further votes to the ones he had before.
Let us also ask them how the Supreme Court will accept the 31 choreographed polling unit agents to prove non-compliance in 380 polling units as claimed by Emmanuel Jime.
To the best of peoples’ understandings, Jime can only prove non-compliance in just 31 polling units with the 31 polling unit agents he had presented before the judiciary, and it will amount to saying that your father is a woman if you want the Supreme Court to accept a claim of non-compliance in 380 polling units from just 31 polling agents. Does Jime mean that the 31 polling agents he assembled before the judiciary were able to see what was going on (Alleged non- compliance) in the remaining 349 polling units at the same time which they were at their allocated PUs?
In the case between Jime and Ortom, the APC candidate is not asking the Supreme Court to add any further votes to his as none of his votes was excluded during collation but rather, he is asking the court to cancel the entire votes in Guma and Logo local governments.
How can anyone compare Benue to Imo when it was only one out of the 59 witnesses that Jime called that complained that the results of his polling unit (less than 300 votes) were not recorded in the Ward result sheet. Even this same witness failed to prove that he was an agent of his party during cross examination.
A simple arithmetics will educate mediocre that cancelling the entire votes in both Guma and Logo as demanded by Jime will only reduce the 89,318 margin between him and Governor Ortom to 30,687 votes in favour of the governor.
Let us not forget that as the Supreme Court is cancelling the 58, 631 votes which Ortom got in Guma and Logo which is the main strongholds for the PDP in Benue state, the Apex court will also be cancelling the entire 13, 421 votes which Jime got in both local governments.
Can the Supreme Court even cancel the votes in Guma and Logo as demanded by Jime when the court did not do so when Atiku Abubakar demanded same against Muhammadu Buhari? Note that the Apex court did not cancel Buhari’s votes in some areas as demanded by Atiku because of its stand on the issue of card reader, non compliance and others which are also applicable in the case between Jime and Ortom.
Let us agree that Guma and Logo will be cancelled, Ortom will have 375, 842 votes left while Jime will have 331, 731 votes left, and this still makes the PDP candidate winner with 44, 111 votes.
Let us also agree that Jime performs some abracadabra in the court and his 13, 424 votes in Guma and Logo are not cancelled, he will be having his full 345, 155 votes while Ortom, if Logo and Guma are cancelled which will never happen, will maintain 375, 842, and this still makes him the winner with 30, 687 votes.