Ik­peazu’s con­tin­ued stay in of­fice il­le­gal – Keyamo

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By John Chuks Azu & Cle­ment Oloyede

Anti-cor­rup­tion lawyer, Fes­tus Keyamo, has crit­i­cized the con­tin­ued stay in of­fice of Okezie Ik­peazu as gov­er­nor of Abia State de­spite a court or­der in­val­i­dat­ing his Cer­tifi­cate of Re­turn.

In a state­ment yes­ter­day, Keyamo said the only way to en­throne legality in Abia State was to swear-in Uchechukwu Ogah im­me­di­ately pend­ing the ap­peal by Ik­peazu, adding that to re­main in of­fice only ap­plies to post-elec­tion mat­ters be­fore elec­tion tri­bunals or the Court of Ap­peal and not pre-elec­tion mat­ters as in this case.

A Fed­eral High Court presided by Jus­tice Okon Abang had on June 27 nul­li­fied the nom­i­na­tion of Okezie Ik­peazu for in­clud­ing false tax cer­tifi­cate in­for­ma­tion in his In­de­pen­dent Na­tional Elec­toral Com­mis­sion (INEC) form for the De­cem­ber 8, 2014 pri­mary of the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP).

The judge had or­dered INEC to is­sue a fresh Cer­tifi­cate of Re­turn to Uchechukwu Ogah, who came sec­ond in the pri­mary.

Ik­peazu ap­pealed the or­der be­fore the Ap­peal Court in Abuja and ob­tained a re­strain­ing in­junc­tion from an Abia High Court against the swear­ing-in of Ogah.

But Keyamo, who said INEC acted within the am­bit of the law by is­su­ing the Cer­tifi­cate of Re­turn to Ogah, ar­gued that the case was not that Ik­peazu pre­sented a forged cer­tifi­cate to INEC, but that he swore to a false af­fi­davit and sup­plied a false in­for­ma­tion to INEC that he paid his taxes as at when due.

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