Supreme Court Upholds Election Of Governor Ikpeazu

 

 

The Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Paul Galunje, the court held that the appellant did not establish its claims of over-voting.

According to him, to prove this allegation there are crucial documents that the appellant must tender.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Affirms Election Of Governor Ishaku

He said: “The law is clear that the petitioner must tender the voters’ register, relate the document to the specific area where the documents were affected.

“However, in this case, the appellant has not done so, it merely dumped form ec8a and ec8b before the court but did not call any witnesses to prove its allegations of over-voting”.

Justice Galunje added that the card reader print out tendered by the appellant at the trial tribunal cannot be converted into the constitution or electoral act which is the yardstick for proving over voting as such relying on the card reader is fatal to any petitioners case.

He concluded that the appellant failed to lead credible evidence in proof of their case and the two lower courts are right to dismiss the appeal.

Supreme Court Begins Hearing On Appeal Against Ikpeazu

 

 

The Supreme Court has commenced hearing on the appeal filed against the election of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.

At the onset of proceeding on Wednesday, counsel to Mr. Alex Orti and APGA Mr. Lateef Fagbemi adopted his processes.

According to him, claims by the Appellate Court that the documents tendered at the tribunal were dumped on the court should be set aside.

Mr. Fagbemi argued that the findings by the Appellate Court that the documents tendered were not true certified document was also an error because the issue of proper certification did not arise.

He added that there must be respect for the rule of law and the required procedure.

In the final analysis, he asked the court to allow the appeal and set aside the position of the Appellate Court and order a fresh election.

On his part counsel to INEC, Mr. Zakawanu Garba asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the appeal.

READ ALSO: Court Stops INEC From Conducting By-Election To Fill 14 Edo Assembly Seats

Counsel to Governor Ikpeazu, Mr. Wole Olanipekun also asked the court to dismiss the appeal.

According to him the appellant came third and wants to usurp.

Mr. Olanipekun said the appellant wants to make a mountain out of a molehill of evidence at the trial tribunal when the tribunal has already said it is not of any probative value since the maker of the document was not called to testify with respect to the document.

He further stated that it is an error for the appellant to ask the court to take notice that his client did not appeal the tribunal position on the documents, adding that there is nothing in this appeal.

The counsel to the appellant was in Atiku vs Muhammadu Buhari and he made a clear statement in that case, noting that the court cannot make any decision based on hearsay.

He also added that it is law sanctioned by the apex court that INEC guidelines are not and cannot be accorded the same standing with the provisions of the constitution.

The smart card reader he stressed cannot depose or dethrone the election register.

Judgment has been stood down to 2pm today.

The 7 man panel was presided over by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour.

PDP NWC Summons Elumelu, Ikpeazu, Others Over House Leadership

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The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has summoned Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, Hon Lynda Ikpeazu and some other party members to a crucial meeting at its national secretariat over the House leadership.

Other members are  Hon. Wole Oke, Hon. Anayo Edwin, Hon. Gideon Gwadi, Hon. Toby Okechukwu and Hon. Adekoya Abdul-Majid.

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In a statement by the spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the decision to was taken during the 473rd meeting of the PDP on Thursday.

“The summon is in line with the provisions of Chapter 10 (57)(3) of the Constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)”.

He further noted that the summoned members are to appear before the National Working Committee on Friday at 10 am.

Abia Governor, Ikpeazu Presents N140Bn Budget Before Assembly

Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu

The Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has presented a budget proposal of N140 billion before the state House of Assembly.

The budget was tagged budget of partnerships and opportunities” to the state House of Assembly.

While presenting the budget, the governor disclosed that it is geared towards attracting the right partnerships and open up investment opportunities for development.

The budget represents a 28.15 percent increase from 2017 budget of N111 billion while the overall performance of 2017 budget indicated 70.1 percent achievement.

A budget breakdown of N140 billion naira shows that capital expenditure is to gulp N72 billion while the N68 billion is for the recurrent expenditure.

As at the third quarter of 2017, the revenue performance represents 59.35 percent performance as its internal revenue did not perform better.

“This budget is packaged to follow medium-term expenditure framework which looks at projections for a three-year period, that has projections for the year 2018 to 2020 and is compliant with the international public-sector accounting standard,” he said.

He added, “I must say that the state is committed to fiscal management process in line with international best practices making the state investment-friendly for foreign investors.

“Much of the economy of Nigeria is said to be out of recession, the economy indices such as the rate of inflation, interest rate, a decrease in foreign direct investment show that we are still not near, getting out of the hooks.

“This has greatly determined the direction of our projections and inform the theme of the 2018 budget tagged “Budget of Partnerships and Opportunities.”

Mr Ikpeazu further called for transparency and cooperation among the various tiers of government in seeing to its execution.

He said, “We must also take steps to show tenacity, frugal and transparency in our financial management because partnerships can only be attracted when the financial management is conducive.

“We also have prioritized our needs in line with the request harvested from the various communities and the five pillars of development of the state.

“We expect to boost trade and commerce, agriculture and agric business as well as catalyze the emergence of vibrant small and medium scale manufacturing enterprise in Abia State.”

Ikpeazu Announces Gradual Withdrawal Of Soldiers From Abia Streets

Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu

Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu says the gradual withdrawal of soldiers from the streets of Abia will commence tomorrow, Friday.

The governor made the announcement on Thursday during a media briefing on the security situation in the state.

He said the security situation in the state in the past few days has become of great concern to both the government and the citizenry.

Governor Ikpeazu condemned the reported attacks on police stations and military posts in Aba and Umuahia, warning that the state government would no longer tolerate such incident.

He also asked members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to desist from spreading what he called “false rumors” capable of throwing Abia State into disorder.

Read the full text below;

Dear brothers and sisters, the security situation in the state in the past few days, which led to the deployment of soldiers into our state ahead of the Operation Python dance 11, has become of great concern to both the government and the citizenry.

After several interventions, I want to inform you that by tomorrow morning, there will be withdrawal of solders from the streets at Aba and Umuahia, apart from the pre-existing military checkpoints at various location in the state.

With the expected exit of soldiers from the streets, we must warn that we will not tolerate agitators and protesters taking over the streets for any reason at all.

I will also be meeting the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, to discuss possible ways of relaxing the Operation Python dance 11 in the state for now.

Our attention have been drawn to ugly incidences of attacks on police stations and military posts at Aba and Umuahia and we hereby warn that we will no longer tolerate that, and all other acts that are capable of causing insecurity in the state.

We have also observed illegal acts of throwing petrol bombs and setting up of bonfires to obstruct free movements along some roads by suspected miscreants and wish to warn that such acts should stop forthwith.

To mischief makers who want to use Abia as their base, let me announce to you that henceforth, Abia will be too hot for you to carry out your wicked acts as the government will work with security agents to ensure the protection of lives and properties in the state without fear or favour. There will be no hiding place for you.

At about midnight yesterday, we received security reports that hoodlums and miscreants, some of whom were allegedly brought into the state by unscrupulous individuals, were mobilizing around Uratta road at Aba with a view to converging at Ariaria International Market to burn it down. Their aim was obviously to take advantage of the security situation in the state to cripple the economy of the state and cause widespread suffering.

It was this group that originated the rumors of attacks and counter attacks around the area and also tried to create panic to force people out of their homes to enable them execute their evil intentions under the cover of orchestrated crises.

Thankfully their plan was nipped in the bud by the combined team of soldiers and policemen that promptly moved to the area and later positioned around Ariaria market to protect the lives and properties of our people.

We have it on good authority that the same group of hoodlums attempted to burn down the police station at Ariaria market early today and security agents are currently on the hunt for them and those outside the state who are sponsoring their evil actions. Not even one of them will escape the full weight of the law.

Members and sympathizers of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) should henceforth desist from spreading false rumors capable of throwing our state into disorder. Those spreading such falsehood will be dealt with, according to the Law.

My fellow Abians, it is in the interest of all our citizens and residents for full and total peace and security to return to our state immediately. No meaningful progress can be made in an atmosphere of violence and anarchy.

Those at Aba are therefore advised to fully observe the current curfew in the city and ensure that they cooperate with security agents to maintain peace and order.

I swore to protect lives and properties of all Abians and residents and that I must do. I therefore call on all to support our efforts at making sure that lasting peace prevails in our dear state.

God bless Abia State.

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Dr Okezie Ikpeazu

Governor of Abia State.

Governor Ikpeazu Declares Three-Day Curfew In Aba

Abia Govt. Promises Prudent Utilization Of Paris Club Refund
Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State Government has declared a curfew in Aba amid growing security concerns in the state.

The curfew is in reaction to reported clashes between some groups in the state, especially Sunday’s altercation between members of the Indigenous People of Biafra and troops of the Nigerian Army, the governor said in a statement.

Under the curfew, residents of Aba are to remain indoors from 6 pm to 6 am starting from today (September 12) until Thursday. September 14, 2017.

There has been an upsurge in the activities of IPOB in the state since the release of the group’s leader, Mr Nnamdi Kanu, on bail.

The Nigerian Army has also increased its activities in the South East with the launch of Operation Python Dance II on Friday.

In a statement declaring the curfew, Governor Ikpeazu said the government had monitored the “frenzy of activities of members of IPOB within Afara – Umuahia, the ancestral home of the leader of IPOB for some months now”, and that it is equally aware of the army’s operation in the state and South-East region.

Concerning Sunday’s clash, he said, “The recent confrontation between the Nigerian Army and members of IPOB on Sunday, 10th September 2017, could presumably be attributed to the commencement of the said Operation Python Dance II.”

Also, the governor called for caution by all parties and respect for the country’s laws.

“The Abia State Government unequivocally states that Abia is a component State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and subscribes to the supremacy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all other extant laws,” he said.

“While the Government of Abia State recognises the right of the Nigerian Army and other security agencies, to perform their statutory duty of protection of lives and property of Nigerian citizens, such duties must be carried out within acclaimed Nigerian and international standards of engagement with the civil populace, with due respect to the human rights of citizens and sanctity of human lives.”

Supreme Court Affirms Ikpeazu As Abia Governor

Abia Govt. Promises Prudent Utilization Of Paris Club RefundThe Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Mr Okezie Ikpeazu as Abia State Governor.

Two out of the three-man panel of the Supreme Court struck out the appeal of Mr Uche Ogah, challenging the nomination and election of Ikpeazu, thereby affirming the judgment of the appeal court.

Mr Ogah’s appeal was dismissed for lacking merit.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria described the case as a storm in a teacup, which shouldn’t have been entertained in the first case.

He warned politicians against trying to influence the judiciary, saying there was a security breach which will be investigated by the court.

He wondered why some politicians would attempt to bribe court employees to know who is writing the judgment or what the judgment is.

Details later…

Abia Governor, Ikpeazu Says He Is Not Distracted

okezie ikpeazu, Abia State,Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, says he is not distracted as Nigerians await the judgement of the Appeal Court over the power tussle in Abia State.

The man in the eye of the storm, following allegations of tax certificate forgery, spoke to State House correspondents over the matter.

Dr Ikpeazu said he was only worried that the uncertainty and the kind of rumours milled by his detractors are capable of scaring away investors and stopping the good work he has started for Abia people.

According to him, those who are perpetrating the act in the state do not have the welfare of Abia citizens at heart.

Abia Governorship Tussle: Supporters Demand Ogah’s Swearing In

Uche Ogah, AbiaThe Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation and the acting Inspector General of Police have been asked to act swiftly and ensure that Mr Uche Ogah is sworn in as the Governor of Abia State.

Spokesman for the Uche Ogah Campaign Organisation, Mr Max Ozoaka, made the appeal while speaking to reporters on Sunday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He insisted that it was necessary to address the issue which had created an administrative and constitutional vacuum in Abia State.

Ozoaka’s appeal follows the declaration by Mr Okezie Ikpeazu that he remains the Governor of the state.

He maintained that the constitution gave him the right to appeal the issuance of a certificate of return to Mr Ogah by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Although the INEC admitted receiving a notice of appeal from Mr Okezie, it said that the documents it received did not contain a stay-of-execution order to stop the issuance of a Certificate of Return to Mr Uche Ogah, as the next Governor of Abia State.

The electoral body had on Thursday issued a Certificate of Return to Mr Ogah in line with the directives of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.

Ikpeazu Insists He Remains Abia State Governor

okezie ikpeazu, AbiaThe embattled Governor of Abia State, Mr Okezie Ikpeazu, on Friday says he remains the legitimate governor of the state.

Speaking at the Government House in Umuahia, the Abia State’s capital in southwest Nigeria, the Governor called for calm and support from all residents in the state.

He said that the constitution gave him the right to appeal the case and expressed surprise at what he describes at INEC’s rush to issue a certificate of return to Mr Uche Ogah.

Mr Ikpeazu also expressed confidence that the judiciary would do the needful.

He dismissed the rumors that the Federal Government had a hand in the case.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) admitted receiving a notice of appeal from Mr Okezie.

The commission, however, said that the documents it received did not contain a stay-of-execution order to stop the issuance of a Certificate of Return to Mr Sampson Ogah as the next Governor of Abia State.

The electoral body had on Thursday issued a Certificate of Return to Mr Ogah in line with the directives of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.

 

Abia Governorship: INEC Confirms Receiving Ikpeazu’s Appeal

INEC, Abia, IkpeazuThe Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has admitted receiving a notice of appeal from the Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu.

The commission, however, said that the documents it received did not contain a stay-of-execution order, to stop the issuance of a certificate of return to Sampson Ogah as the next governor of the state.

The electoral body had on Thursday issued a certificate of return to Mr. Ogah as directed by a federal high court in Abuja on Monday.

Justice Abang Okon had ruled that Mr. Ikpeazu submitted fraudulent tax documents when he filed papers to run for governorship ticket on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Mr. Ogah was Mr Ikpeazu’s main challenger in the gubernatorial primaries conducted in December 2014, and had asked the court to nullify Mr. Ikpeazu’s candidacy on the basis of the tax default.

Mr Ikpeazu says he has appealed the ruling, and that he remains Governor.

On Thursday, INEC said it issued a certificate of return to Mr Ogah because it had not been served Mr. Ikpeazu’s notice of appeal.

The electoral body through its spokesman Nick Dazang, on Friday however explained that Mr Ikpeazu’s failure to provide a stay-of-execution order left the commission with no choice than to issue the certificate of return to Mr Ogah.

Ikpeazu Flags Off 4.6km Faulks Road Construction In Abia

Abia, Ikpeazu, FAulks RoadThe Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has flagged off the reconstruction of 4.6 km Faulks Road that covers Brass junction by Aba-Owerri road as well as Ariaria market by Ukwu-Mango and down to Port Harcourt Expressway.

The road construction is in line with the administration’s commitment to enhancing infrastructure that would encourage trade and commerce in Aba, the commercial city of Abia State.

Faulks Road has been in a deplorable condition for the past 18 years, hampering economic activities in Ariaria Market.

It has also caused untold hardship to residents, despite the effort made by past administrations to fix it.

The major impediment in the reconstruction of the road is tackling the Ifeobara basin near Ukwu-Mango.

The government has engaged the services of a construction company, SETRACO to solve the problem by constructing a 5.6km underground water channel that would discharge its content straight to Aba River

Ifeobara basin has been the reason behind the most devastating flood in the area, due to accumulated waste materials being dumped on the drains, that has blocked the drainage over time.

Shortly after flagging off the road, Governor Ikpeazu told the people in his native Ngwa language that the suffering and recurrent flood in the area had come to end.

Governor Ikpeazu drove out from the event amidst cheers and excitement from the people, who would be hoping that their show of support would translate to serious work to end the flooding.