Court in­sists Ik­peazu is no more Abia gov

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - By John Chuks Azu

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.

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