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Ikpeazu raises 50 grounds of appeal against removal

By Joseph Onyekwere and Bertram Nwannekanma
07 July 2016   |   2:08 am
Embattled Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu has appealed the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which removed him as the state governor over tax forgery.
Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu

Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu

Ogah  set to vacate Abia court order

Embattled Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu has appealed the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which removed him as the state governor over tax forgery.

In suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/71/2016, Justice Okon Abang had on June 27, 2016, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to immediately issue Certificate of Return to Dr. Uche Ogah, who was the second runner-up in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries.

In his notice of appeal dated July 4, 2016, Dr. Ikpeazu through his counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) raised 50 grounds of appeal and expressed dissatisfaction with the decision of the lower court.

Joined, as respondents are Ogah, PDP, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Friday Nwosu.His first ground of appeal was that the trial judge erred in law and came to a wrong decision in holding that the appellant was ineligible to participate in the primary election of the 2nd respondent by reason of presenting false information to the 3rd respondent in Form CF001 and in granting all the reliefs claimed by the 1st respondent in his originating summons

In the second ground of appeal, Ikpeazu said the lower court equally erred in law and reached a perverse decision when after finding thus: “The cause of action arose in this matter when the 1st and 2nd defendants forwarded Form CF001 containing alleged false information to INEC”. It went ahead to disqualify the appellant from being a candidate at the 2nd respondent’s primary election and declared the 1st respondent as the winner of the primary election; among other grounds.

Meanwhile, as Nigerians await court’s decision on the disputed Abia state governorship tussle, the court declared governor of the state, Dr. Uche Sampson Ogah yesterday pledged to take steps to vacate the order of an Ossioma High Court, which restrained the state chief judge from swearing him in as a governor.

The pledge is coming at the absence of any contrary order of court against the judgment of Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court, Abuja, which declared him as the governor of the state.

Ogah, who spoke through his media aide and lawyer, Monday Ubani yesterday in Lagos, said Ogah’s victory in the pre election matter was not a recent one as he filed the case at the Federal High court in 2014 questioning Ikpeazu’s eligibility to participate in the PDP gubernatorial primaries on the basis that he failed to pay his taxes as and when due, as required by law.

Ogah said he is not only prepared to abide by the decision of the court on the matter but will take steps to vacate the Abia High Court to pave way for his inauguration.

According to him, his case was not a legal ambush for the acquisition of political power as being insinuated by some persons as he has been in the court for the past four years in the matter.