Court insists Ikpeazu is no more Abia gov
A Federal High Court in Abuja (FCT) has refused to vacate the order for the removal of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.
Justice Okon Abang yesterday ruled that the enrolled order, which was served on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was properly signed by the court after the staff worked long hours to produce it three days earlier than the seven days provided by law.
The judge had on June 27 removed Governor Ikpeazu for including false tax certificate information in his INEC form for the December 8, 2014 primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The judge had ordered INEC to issue fresh certificate of return to Uchechukwu Ogah, who came second in the primary.
However, Ikpeazu appealed the judgment at the Appeal Court in Abuja and filed a stay of execution before Justice Abang.
Arguing the application, Ikpeazu's counsels, Wole Olanipekun, leading other Senior Advocates of Nigeria - Kanu Agabi, Ademoyega Awomolo and Onyechi Ikpeazu - asked the court to set aside the enrolment of the order of June 27, 2016 and the certificate of return issued to Ogah.
But Ogah's counsel, Alex Izinyon (SAN), who led two other Senior Advocates of Nigeria - Femi Falana and Dipo Okpeseyi - submitted that the application was a "gross abuse of court process."
He added that having obtained an injunction from an Abia High Court in Osisioma, restraining the Chief Judge of the state from swearing-in Ogah, they had resorted to self-help, adding that the matter has become lis pendens.
Justice Abang ruled that he will hear the application to vacate the injunction by an Abia High Court and to stay the execution of the judgment pending the determination of Ikpeazu's appeal on July 7.