From Omehia to Lyon: 9 Nigerian governors sacked by court since 1999
Since Nigeria's return to democracy in 1999, the Supreme Court has played a critical role in deciding the fate of governors after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has finished its own job.
Though it is the constitutional duty of INEC to declare the winner in elections, the Supreme Court has the final verdict in who eventually wins when the elections are challenged in court.
This piece highlights 8 governors who have been sent packing from the government house as a result of a Supreme Court verdict.
1. Celestial Omehia, sacked for Rotimi Amaechi
Omehia ruled Rivers state for five months before the Supreme Court sacked him and declared Rotimi Amaechi as the validly elected governor of the state.
The apex court held that Ameachi was the validly elected candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), adding that Omehia illegally hijacked the ticket from him.
2. Chris Ngige, sacked for Peter Obi
For almost two years, PDP's Ngige ruled Anambra state before the Supreme Court sacked him and declared Peter Obi of APGA as the winner of the 2003 governorship election in the state.
3. Andy Uba, sacked for Peter Obi
PDP's Uba spent 17 days in office after being declared the winner of the Anambra governorship election in 2007 before the Supreme Court asked him to vacate the office for Peter Obi again.
The court held that INEC conducted the election in error, adding that Obi had to complete his four-year term, starting from the time he took over from Ngige.
4. Oserheimen Osunbor, sacked for Adams Oshiomhole
PDP's Osunbor spent 10 months in office as Edo state governor before the court sacked him and declared Adams Oshiomhole of the defunct AC as the authentic governor of the state.
5. Olusegun Oni, sacked for Kayode Fayemi
PDP's Oni also spent two years in office as Ekiti state governor before the apex court sacked him and declared Kayode Fayemi of the AC as the governor in 2010.
6. Olagunsoye Oyinlola, sacked for Rauf Aregbesola
Also in 2010, Oyinlola of the PDP was asked to vacate the office as the governor of Osun state while the court declared Rauf Aregbesola, as the authentic governor.
7. Mukhtar Idris, sacked for Bello Matawalle
APC's Mukhtar Idris won the 2019 governorship election in Zamfara state. However, the Supreme Court ruled that the party's primaries did not follow laid down conditions. As a result, the party lost all the elections it won to the party(ies) with the next highest lawful votes. That's Idris was forced to vacate the governorship seat for Bello Matawalle of the PDP.
8. Emeka Ihedioha, sacked for Hope Uzodinma
After spending eight months in office, the Supreme Court voided Ihedioha's election and declared the APC's candidate, Hope Uzodinma, as the validly elected governor.
9. David Lyon, sacked for Douye Diri
Just barely 24 hours to his inauguration as the governor of Bayelsa state, the Supreme Court sacked APC's Lyon and declared PDP's Douye Diri.
Sadly, the reason for the apex court's decision has nothing to do with Lyon but his running mate who was found guilty of presenting forged certificates to INEC.
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Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the national chairman of the APC hinted that the party may file for the review of the Supreme Court judgment which sacked its candidate, Lyon, as the governor-elect of Bayelsa state.
In his official reaction to the ruling of the apex court, Oshiomhole said the party has already consulted its lawyers on the possible action to take to ensure the Lyon's mandate is restored.
Oshiomhole further told newsmen that the “judgement lacks the fruits of justice”.
The APC chairman said the verdict was based on mere technicalities which portend “danger to our democracy."
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