DR. Ikpeazu is operating illegally as governor - Festus Keyamo.
The Court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to issue a Certificate of Return to Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah, who scored the second highest number of votes in the primaries that produced Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu.
A thorough scrutiny of the judgment of the court will reveal that, contrary to widespread opinion that Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah’s case was that Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu presented forged tax papers to the Independent National Electoral Commission, his case was simply that Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu apparently rushed to pay all his backlog of taxes just before the elections, yet he swore to a false affidavit and supplied a false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission that he paid his taxes AS AT WHEN DUE. It was based on this false information that the court nullified his candidature.
OGAH’S CERTIFICATE OF RETURN
In the circumstance, the Independent National Electoral Commission acted legally and correctly by instantly issuing a Certificate of Return to Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah.
WHY DR. OKEZIE VICTOR IKPEAZU MUST STEP DOWN IMMEDIATELY AS GOVERNOR OF ABIA STATE
It would have been permissible for Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu to continue in office as Governor of Abia State pending the outcome of the appeal despite the judgment of the Federal High Court (and the nullification of his Certificate of Return) if Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah had not been issued a Certificate of return instantly.
But having been issued a Certificate of Return, it is constitutionally abnormal and legally paradoxical that a person with a validly issued Certificate of Return should not occupy that office immediately, and the person with an invalidated Certificate of Return continues to occupy that office.
The scenario we have now is that of a person, without any document entitling him to that office, occupying the office of Governor of Abia State, whilst a person who has both a valid court judgment and a valid Certificate of Return is unable to assume office as Governor of the state.
Let the world know today that Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu is operating illegally as Governor of Abia Sttae and all his actions, orders and anything done in that capacity are null, void and of no effect.
Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah should be sworn in immediately as Governor of Abia State pending the appeal lodged by Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu. That is the only way to go to enthrone legality in Abia State. The heavens will not fall.
FESTUS KEYAMO, ESQ.,