Abia Governorship Crisis: Ikpeazu Dares INEC, Says ‘I’m Still In Charge’

Abia Governorship Crisis: Ikpeazu Dares INEC, Says ‘I’m Still In Charge’

By Okechukwu Nwokoye | Sub Editor on June 30, 2016
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Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of Abia State
Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of Abia State | Abia State Photo

Abia State governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, on Thursday, June 30, 2016 dared the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on the issuance of a certificate of return to Mr. Uche Ogah, despite a notice of appeal and motion for stay of the orders made by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Governor Ikpeazu in a statement delivered to The Trent and personally signed by him, told his supporters and the people of Abia State to remain calm because he remained the governor.

“I have received with concern report of the purported issuance of Certificate of Return to Mr. Uche Ogah by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as governor of Abia State, despite dependency of a notice of appeal and motion for stay of the orders made by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja,” Ikpeazu said.

“Our laws are clear on this matter. No one may be issued with a certificate of return let alone be sworn in as governor, when there is a subsisting appeal and application for stay.

“I want to appeal to Abians to remain calm and law abiding in the face of this provocation, unless and until the appellant courts have conclusively resolve the appeal, the status remains, I am still the Governor of Abia State.”

Court Stops Swearing In Of Ogar

Meanwhile, a high court of Abia State has stopped the chief judge of Abia State, president of the Customary Court of Appeal and any other judicial officer, from swearing-in Mr. Uche Oga as governor.

The order made on Thursday, June 30, 2016 in court by Justice Ahuchaogu reads: “Upon this motion ex-parte pursuant to section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice, after hearing O.O Nkume, counsel to the applicant.

“It is ordered that an order of injunction is hereby made restraining the 2nd defendant (INEC) from issuing a certificate of return to the 1st defendant (Ogah) while the claimant (Ikpeazu) remains in office in accordance with section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice.

“It is further ordered that the 3rd defendant (chief judge of Abia State) or any other judge of the court or any judicial officer are hereby restricted from swearing-in the 1st defendant (Ogah) while the claimant (Ikpeazu) remains in office in accordance with section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice.

“It is also ordered that this order is hereby made to last for 10 days from today. The returnable date is fixed for the 8th day of July, 2016.

“Furthermore, the condition attached to this order is that the enrolled order must be served along with the motion on notice on respondents, else he order automatically lapses on 8th July, 2016.”

Also, in a motion of ex-parte order the court also restricted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from issuing a certificate of return to Oga.

The order reads: “an order of injunction restraining the 2nd defendant (INEC) from issuing a certificate of return to the 1st defendant (Ogah) while the claimant (Ikpeazu) remains in office in accordance with section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice.

“An order of injunction restraining the 3rd defendant (Chief Judge of Abia State) or any other judge of the court, or any judicial officer from swearing in the 1st defendant (Ogah) while the claimant (Ikpeazu) remains in office in accordance with section 143 (1) & (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) and pending the determination of the motion on notice.”

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