- As legal battle shifts to A/Court
JUSTICE OKON Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, refused to hear Abia State Governor,Okezie Ikpeazu’s application for stay of execution of the June 27 judgment of the court removing him (Ikpeazu) as governor. The judge instead directed Ikpeazu and Uche Ogah, who are both claiming to be the legitimate Governor of Abia
State to go before the Court of Appeal in Abuja division for the resolution of the stalemate in the state. He directed that Ikpeazu and Ogah, who was ordered to be issued fresh Certificate of Return in the June 27 judgment, should go to the Court of Appeal to argue the motion for stay of execution. This he said was because the lawyers to the two (Ikpeazu and Ogah) had argued that he (the judge) no longer had jurisdiction
to hear the motion. The judge agreed with the submissions of the two learned senior counsels to both Governor Ikpeazu and Ugah and directed them to Appeal Court Abuja Division for the hearing of the stay of execution. In a related development, a Federal High Court in Owerri, Imo State, yesterday,dismissed a suit challenging the nomination and election of Okezie Ikpeazu as governor of Abia State . A former governorship aspirant, Friday Nwosu, had filed a suit challenging the nomination of Chief. Ikpeazu as candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, during the party’s primaries in December 2014. He contended that the tax documents presented by the governor were forged. The PDP and another aspirant, Uche Ogah, were listed as defendants in the suit. But ruling on the matter, Justice A.I. Allagoa, yesterday
said that Mr. Nwosu could not prove that the tax documents were forged. Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja had last week sacked Mr. Okezie and ordered the swearing in of Mr. Ogah as governor of Abia State. Following the judgement, Mr. Nwosu rushed to the court in Owerri to also lay claim to the governorship seat. Also on Monday, the Abia State High Court in Osisioma granted a motion filed by Mr. Ikpeazu for extension of Order restraining the Chief Judge of Abia State, the President of the Abia State Customary Court of Appeal and any other judicial officer from swearing in Mr. Ogah, as governor of the state. The court extended the order to July 18. The earlier order was to last one week. With the various court pronouncements, Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu will remain the governor of Abia State pending the determination of the Court of Appeal.