Abia Court stops Chief Judge, others from swearing in Ogah as governor

A High Court of Abia State has stopped the Chief Judge of Abia State, the President of the Customary Court of Appeal in the state and any other judiciary officers in the state from swearing in Uche Oga as governor.

uche-ogah
The order, given by Justice Chibuzo Ahuchaogu Thursday, 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.

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“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 judiciary 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.”

The court also restricted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from issuing a certificate of return to Mr. Ogah.

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 judiciary 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.”

Meanwhile, the Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has asked Abians to remain calm and law abiding, saying that he remained their authentic governor.

A statement by the governor reads: “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 the pendency of a notice of appeal and motion for stay of the execution of the orders made by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

“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 resolved the appeal, the status quo remains; I am still the Governor of Abia State.”

The governor said the only power, authority and order exercisable by the Federal High Court was to disqualify the candidate from contesting the election based on section 31(6) of the Electoral Act 2010.

Mr. Ikpeazu also faulted the judge when he held that he did not pay his tax for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, at when due, when he was a public officer whose tax deduction was under Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme where tax deductions were from the source of his monthly salary by the tax authorities who isssued all the tax receipts and certificates.

He said that the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue Services that issued him tax certificates had not declared the certificates forged and that the trial court did not invite the issuing authorities to give evidence in the course of the trial.

Mr. Ikpeazu said the plaintiff, Samson Uchechukwu Ogah, was not a staff of the Abia Board of Internal Revenue and did not invite any staff of the board to testify ‎that the tax certificates were forged.

He accused the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, of violating his right to fair hearing by embarking on judicial investigation without giving him (Ikepazu) the opportunity to address the court on the issue.

The document added, “The learned trial judge erred in law when he held that the appellant presented false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission by his ingenous meticulous study and investigation of documents filed in courts ‎in the recess of his chambers and thereby violated the right of the appellant to fair hearing.”

The governor said the judge had no duty to investigate the contents of documents dumped on the court in the recess of his chambers with a view to helping the plaintiff.

“The decision of the judge which arose from the judicial investigation without opportunity to the appellant violated the appellant’s right to fair hearing,”, the appeal said.

Mr. Ikpeazu also rejected the decision of the high court declaring him unqualified to be nominated at the primary election conducted by his party.

According to him, INEC Form CF001, which the judge relied on, was not one of the grounds of qualification to contest the primary election of PDP.

He said that the judge misconceived the documents presented by the parties and thereby arrived at a wrong conclusion which occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice.

Meanwhile, the governor’s party, the PDP has also filed a separate appeal.

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7 Comments

  1. Until the Case is finally decided by supreme court, Ikpeazu remains the authentic governor. That is true justice.

  2. why is it that people are so greedy to the extend that won’t leave governor okezie ikpeazu to rule, can’t them allow him to rest on that sit

  3. African leaders don’t leave office lol, they DIE or are disgraced out of office. Okezie Ikpeazu when your time comes no single second is added, if you won’t leave now you’ll get booted out or die struggling, you take note.

  4. Are the courts helping or distroying democracy in Nigeria
    One high court in Abuja ordered that Ogah be issued with certificate and sworn in and another high court in Abia ordered to the contrary
    The courts need to work harder to come clean of being suspected of involving themselves in partisan politics or being corrupt

  5. The judicial process should be exhausted in this matter, it is the fair thing to do. The status quo should be retained until a final decision is reached.

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