Wednesday, July 20, 2016 10:58 pm
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu
Ndigbo Bu-Otu Union, a group of elders from the South east Nigeria on Wednesday called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, AGF as well as the Department of State Seervices, DSS to compel the Chief Judge of Abia state to swear-in Dr. Uche Ogah as governor.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the group said allowing Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu to continue in office as governor could lead to a major constitutional crisis in the state.
National President of the Union, Igwekala Ugomaduefule said in a statement released to journalists in Abuja that it’s illegal for Ikpeazu to remain in office as governor after the withdrawal of his certificate of return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ugomaduefule said Ikpeazu should vacate his seat while pursuing his appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja which sacked him from office and ordered that Ogah be sworn-in to replace him.
The Union said in the statement, “The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as the chief law officer of the federation, must rise to the occasion and forestall political crisis in Abia state by directing the state’s Chief Judge to immediately swear-in Dr. Uche Ogah, who in the eye of the law is today the only legitimate governor of Abia state.
“The Chief Justice of Nigeria should equally cooperate with the Attorney General of the Federation to ensure the Abia Chief Judge performs his constitutional responsibility unhindered by swearing-in Dr. Uche Ogah immediately.
“We concede that the outgoing governor Okezie Ikpeazu has the right to appeal the judgement that removed him from office, but since the instrument that made him the governor has been withdrawn by INEC he should do the honourable thing by handing over to the new legitimate governor of Abia state, Dr. Uche Ogah.
“Section 71 of the Electoral Act and the INEC Guidelines on the conduct of the election was very explicit that only someone with a Certificate of Return duly issued by INEC can occupy every elective office”.
“The Section states that the Commission is to issue a certificate of return within seven days to a candidate who won an election as proof of his/her win.
“But, in a case where a court declares another candidate the successful candidate in an election, the certificate of return should be issued to the successful candidate within 48 hours”.
“We are equally calling on the Director General of the Department of State Services and the Inspector General of Police to immediately withdraw all security details attached to Okezie Ikpeazu, since in the eye of the law he is no longer the legitimate governor of Abia state.”