Ogah vs Ikpeazu
Ogah vs Ikpeazu

Constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome has described the removal of Ogvernor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state by a High Court over alleged tax evasion as “unconstitutional and unnatural.”
Reacting to the sack of the governor, Chief Ozekhome also lampooned the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for “hurriedly” issuing DR Uche Ogah a certificate of return.
According to Chief Ozekhome, “the judgement sacking Dr Ikpeazu is hogwash, unnatural, curious and highly questionable. It constitutes a blatant breach of the hallowed doctrine of ‘lispendes’. See Government of Lagos State vs Ojukwu.
“What was the hurry in INEC giving Ogar the certificate of return when the sitting governor has already appealed with a motion for stay of execution? The certificate is dead on arrival, as dead as ‘dodo’, having regard to the clear provisions of the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act.
He argued that as soon as INEC became aware of the extant appeal and motion for stay of Execution, it should have been guided by discretion and waited.
“Read my lips: the judgement was poorly researched and would be reversed at the Court of Appeal.
“Meanwhile, in law, the governor remains the governor until all appeals are exhausted up to the Supreme Court. This is a constitutional right. See Eyesan vs Sanusi (Sc).
“To be sure, the Abia State High Court is jurisdictionally equal and coordinate with the Federal High Court to have granted the stay. That has surely prevented electoral anarchy and judicial rascality.
“If the certificate of return is given to a person who has been dragged to a higher court, what is left for the appellate court to decide? The couching of the judgement to the effect that INEC should issue the certificate, with the plaintiff being sworn in immediately,was quite unfortunate and overreaching, as it as it literally foreclosed the governor’s constitutional right of appeal.
“The Abia State High Court has rescued the judiciary from an otherwise messy, odious, obloquous and opprobrious situation.
“Thank God there are appellate courts to always right the wrongs and shortcomings of lower courts. Otherwise, the judiciary would have been interned in a shameful state of nadir and irreversible cataclysm.


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