There is palpable tension in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, and other major towns ahead of today’s judgment by the Supreme Court on the Abia State governorship election.
The case was filed by Uche Ogah who is accusing Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of allegedly submitting false tax information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Ikpeazu defeated Ogah in the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, primaries ahead of the 2015 gubernatorial election in the state.
Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja had on June 27, 2016 sacked Ikpeazu from office as governor of Abia State, after the court found him guilty of tax offences.
Abang ordered Ikpeazu to vacate office for Ogah, who challenged Ikpeazu’s eligibility to contest the 2015 governorship election as the flag bearer of the PDP.
Following the judgment and order for the immediate inauguration of Ogah as Abia governor, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, issued him with the Certificate of Return.
The development generated a heated controversy and debate on why INEC acted in a hurry.
But in another judgement in August, 2016, the Court of Appeal affirmed the election of Ikpeazu and quashed the judgment of Justice Abang.
The Court of Appeal described the ruling by Justice Abang as a rape of democracy, and ordered Ikpeazu to retain his office.
Subsequently, Ogah approached the Supreme Court where he prayed that the High Court judgement should be upheld.