The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) today issued the Certificate of Return to Uche Ogah of the Peoples Democratic Party as the new Governor of Abia State.
Mr. Ogah received the certificate in Abuja from the Director of Publicity of INEC, Oluwole Osaze-Uzi.
On Monday a Federal High Court judge, Okon Abang, ordered INEC and the Chief Judge of Abia state to ensure Ogah be made the new governor of the state after sacking the governor, Okezie Ikpeazu for presenting a forged tax clearance certificate at the PDP primaries in 2014. The judge ruled that Gov. Ikpeazu has been disqualified for willfully presenting fake documents to win the primaries.
The present governor responds
I have received with concern, report of the purported issuance of Certificate of Return to Mr. Uche Ogah by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as governor of Abia State, despite dependency of a notice of appeal and motion for stay of the orders made by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Our laws are clear on this matter. No one may be issued with a certificate of return let alone be sworn in as governor, when there is a subsisting appeal and application for stay.
I want to appeal to Abians to remain calm and law abiding in the face of this provocation, unless and until the appellant courts have conclusively resolve the appeal, the status remains, I am still the Governor of Abia State.
Dr Okezie Ikpeazu
Governor, Abia State