Saturday, 2 January 2016

Sacked Abia State Governor heads to Supreme Court to regain mandate.

Embattled governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, whose election was recently annulled by the Court of Appeal on the 31th of December, 2015, has reacted to the decision of the court.

Mr Okezie Ikpeazu, who was the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the April 11 election and the April 25 supplementary election, was sacked by the Court of Appeal. The court also ordered Alex Otti of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) to be sworn in as governor.

In swift reaction to the judgement, Okezie Ikpeazu said he has heard the ruling of the Appeal Court but has not been fully briefed on the development by his lawyers. He also said that he would challenge the judgement at the Supreme Court.

“I have just been informed that the Court of Appeal sitting at Owerri has nullified my victory as the duly elected Governor of Abia State and ordered that one of my opponents at the election, Dr. Alex Otti should be sworn in as the winner of the election.

“As of this moment, I have not received the full briefing on the reason for the decision of the Court of Appeal but my Lawyers are still at the Court waiting to obtain a copy of the Judgment for further studying and it is past 7pm. The next 4 days are Public Holidays and the timing of the judgment means that we are losing valuable days to study the judgment and file our Appeal.

“I wish to state at this point that preliminary reports available to me indicate that the premise upon which the decision of the Court of Appeal was arrived at is at best tenuous.

“That being said, I wish to express my utmost confidence in the ability of the Justices of the Supreme Court to correct the anomaly at the Court of Appeal and uphold my victory as had been earlier done by the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia.

“In the interim, while I have instructed my Lawyers to take steps to file an immediate Appeal at the Supreme Court, I wish to assure all Abians that all is well. I remain the Governor of Abia State until the Supreme Court reaffirms my mandate which was freely given to me by the good people of Abia State during the elections.

“I call on the Security Agencies to maintain the peace in Abia state and ensure that people go about their legitimate businesses without fear of disruption from any quarters. I also call on our supporters to remain calm in the face of provocation.

“I remain supremely confident that at the end of the day, victory shall be ours. I thank you all for listening and wish you a prosperous 2016,” said the embattled governor.

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