May 25, 2020
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March 3, 20204min1110
Just when Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
This was exactly what Justice Chima Centus Nweze did in a review called by the deposed Governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha in Tuesday.
He had called for a review of the apex court decision which installed Hope Uzodinma in the state.
Not many people knew of Justice Nweze or have heard of him until his decision to wash his hands off having looked at the controversial decision to give victory to Uzodinma.

While Ihedioha is of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Uzodinma is of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

While the initial ruling by the apex court gave victory to Uzodinma in a unanimous decision, Justice Nweze decided to write his name in gold having looked at the case for the second time on its merit.

He said and declared, in his minority decision, where he was one against six led by the Chief Justice of the Federation, Muhammed Tanko, that Ihedioha should be governor.

He held that the notion of the finality of the Supreme Court and legal certainty does not and cannot extinguish the inherent jurisdiction of the Court to redeem itself.

In Justice Nweze’s opinion, the apex court erred and it is after all not infallible. Because it is not infallible, Justice could only be served best if that toga of infallibility is acknowledged and the apex court image is redeemed through re-installing Ihedioha.

The majority judgement was read by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, that the application for a reversal of the ruling lacked merit and dismissed it saying all parties were to bear their respective costs.

Justice Nweze stunned his colleagues in His ruling and said a judgement or order can be set aside on merit. He said court has the power to overrule itself and has done so in the past.

Justice Nweze then ordered that INEC issue a certificate of return to Mr Ihedioha.

He was born on September 25, 1958 in Enugu State.

Prior to his appointment as justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, he was a Justice of the Nigerian courts of appeal.

He was sworn in on October 29, 2014 by Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, the former Chief Justice of Nigeria.

He has given landmark decisions and is seen as a light in the judiciary that has seen its image battered under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

While many say Justice Nweze’s decision may pitch him against some of his colleagues, he’s being hailed as the hero and weapon of Justice at a time Nigeria so dearly needs redemption in her justice system.



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