Court Removes Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu
A court in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, on Monday asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to cede the certificate of return issued to the Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, to his opponent.
Giving his ruling, the Judge, Justice Okon Abang, said that Mr Ikpeazu never qualified to run for the party primaries in the People’s Democratic Party as a governorship candidate.
The judge also ordered the Chief Judge of the state to swear in, Uche Ogah, his opponent in the December 2014 governorship election in state as the substantive governor of Abia State.
Justice Abang ruled that on the account of fake tax returns during the primaries, Dr. Ikpeazu was never qualified to run in the primaries.
Ikpeazu To Appeal
Meanwhile, the government of Abia State has said that it will appeal the judgement of the Abuja High Court.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Eyinnaya Appolos, told Channels Television on Monday afternoon in Umuahia, the state capital that the Governor has always been a government official and his tax has always been deducted from the source.
The CPS said that there is no need for Abians to panic and that Ikpeazu remains the Governor of the state.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had in April 2015 declared Mr Ikpeazu, the winner of the Abia State governorship election.
Mr Ikpeazu polled 264,713 to defeat the candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, Alex Otti, who polled 180,882 votes.
The result was declared after a supplementary election.