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‘Supreme Court’ Governor of Imo who’s elected for second term

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Hope Uzodinma is a Nigerian politician who became the Governor of Imo State after the Supreme Court declared him the winner of the 2019 gubernatorial poll; hence, nullifying the election of the then-incumbent governor, Emeka Ihedioha.

Uzodinma also participated in and won the recently concluded 2023 gubernatorial election under the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC). His victory at the poll means that the politician, who has been dubbed “Supreme Court governor” by critics, has been elected for a second term in office.

Hope Uzodinma biography

Hope Uzodinma

Odidika Hope Uzodinma was born on December 12, 1958, in Omuma, Oru East Local Government Area of Imo State. He attended Mgbidi Secondary School in Omumu, Oru West, Imo State. He holds a Diploma in Maritime Management Technology and a Higher Diploma in the same field from the Federal University of Technology Owerri. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from Washington University in St. Louis.

In addition, Uzodinma graduated from the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) with a master’s degree in human relations. He also graduated from the University of London with a degree in political science.

Uzodinma has an Honorary Doctorate from Imo State University and is a Fellow of the College of Agriculture, Umuagwo.

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Hope Uzodinma career

Hope Uzodinma receiving red cap title in Igbo land

Uzodinma began his career as a businessman. He used to own a high-net-worth company, named Transurb Technical Consult Ltd, but the company no longer exists as it went bankrupt.

He earned the chieftaincy title of Onwa-Netiri Oha of Omuma Kingdom in the Oru Local Government Area of Imo State.

Hope Uzodinma politics

Hope Uzodinma as governor of Imo state
Uzodinma began his political career during the Second Nigerian Republic when he joined the ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN). In 1983, he became the Imo State youth leader. He was also actively involved in politics when he joined the United Nigeria Congress Party during the aborted political transition to the Third Republic in the 1990s.

Upon the return of democracy in Nigeria in 1999, Uzodinma joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He served as a member of the party’s National Caucus and National Executive Committee and on the party’s Board of Trustees at various times between 1999 to 2017. He was also a close associate of the then-governor of Imo State, Achike Udenwa. However, they fell out after Uzodinma declared interest to run for governorship in the state in 2003 under the platform of the Alliance for Democracy (AD). However, he lost the election to Udenwa and returned to the PDP in 2004.

Uzodinma later contested the PDP governorship primaries in December 2006 but came second to Senator Ifeanyi Araraume. He also endorsed Governor Ikedi Ohakim for a second tenure during the 2011 governorship elections.

In January 2011, Uzodinma won the PDP senatorial primary for the Imo West, with 2,147 votes, while the incumbent Senator Osita Izunaso came second with 891 votes. However, he was later disqualified by a federal high court judgment because he had not been cleared by the PDP electoral panel led by Nwafor Orizu.

In March 2011, a Court of Appeal issued a stay of execution while the case was being decided, leaving Uzodinma free to campaign. The Court of Appeal later upheld the judgment of the Federal High Court on April 5, 2011. Uzodinma later appealed this decision at the Supreme Court, where it was confirmed that he received 85,042 votes, ahead of former Governor Achike Udenwa of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) with 64,228 votes and Rajis Okpalan Benedicta of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) with 57,110 votes.  In May 2011, the Supreme Court overturned the judgement of the Appeal Court and declared Uzodinma the valid candidate and the winner of the election.

On May 29, 2011, Uzodinma was sworn in as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria representing Imo State (West Senatorial District). He also won a second tenure during the 2015 election.

In 2018, he left the PDP and joined the APC to contest for Governor of Imo State in the 2019 general elections.

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Hope Uzodinma controversy

Hope Uzodinma talking
Uzodinma’s journey to become the Governor of Imo State was a long and controversial one, starting from the primaries in 2019. According to reports, the then-outgoing governor, Rochas Okorocha had endorsed his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu, as his successor. This led to a crisis among members of the APC in the state.

When the party’s primary was held in October 2018, both Uzodinma and Nwosu were declared winners by various factions. However, Uzodinma was later declared the recognised candidate of the APC.

In March 2019, the Imo State governorship election result from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed Uzodinma came fourth behind Emeka Ihedioha (PDP), Nwosu (Action Alliance) and Ifeanyi Ararume (All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA). Ihedioha polled 273,404 votes and Nwosu, Ararume and Uzodinma secured 190,364; 114,676; and 96,458 votes, respectively.

However, Uzodinma challenged the victory of Ihedioha up to the Supreme Court. Despite finishing fourth in the poll, he won via judicial intervention because results from 388 polling units were wrongly excluded from votes ascribed to Uzodimma and the APC in Imo. After the recalculation of the votes, the court declared that Uzodimma held the majority of lawful votes cast.

On January 15, 2020, Uzodinma and Placid Njoku were sworn in as the Governor of Imo State and Deputy Governor of Imo State, respectively.

On May 31, 2023, Uzodinma was named chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum, the umbrella body of governors of the ruling APC. On August 13, 2023, he dropped his deputy and Chinyere Ihuoma Ekomaru as his running mate in the build-up to the November 13, 2023 governorship election in the state.

During one of his campaigns, Uzodinma promised to assist no fewer than 4,000 interested indigenes of Imo State relocation to Europe and Canada before the end of December 2023. His statement elicited several reactions, with critics wondering why he should help the economy of a foreign country while his state was suffering from economic hardship. Critics have also called out the Imo State governor for reportedly making the state worse in terms of economy, job creation, GDP and security during his tenure.

On November 10, 2023, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) accused the police and Governor Uzodinma of being responsible for the assault on its president, Comrade Joe Ajaero. However, Uzodinma apologised for the assault.

On November 12, 2023, Uzodinma was declared the winner of the Imo State governorship by the INEC. However, his closest rivals, Samuel Anyanwu and Athan Achonu, candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP), respectively, have rejected the declaration, citing irregularities in the election. 

Hope Uzodinma’s net worth

Verified estimates of Uzodinma’s net worth are not available for now. However, it is known that the governor is well-to-do.

Hope Uzodinma family

Hope Uzodinma: 'Supreme Court' Governor of Imo who's elected for second term 1

Uzodinma was born to Chief Michael Uzodimma, Igwe of Ozuh Omuma, and Ezinne Rose Uzodimma (née Nneoha). He is also related to the Okoro family of Etiti-Omuma.

Uzodinma is married to Chioma Ikeaka Uzodimma. He has seven children, with four of them bore by his current wife.

Hope Uzodinma age

Uzodinma is 64 years old as of 2023.

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