Abia Governorship Tussle: Court To Deliver Judgment On May 12

The Supreme Court has fixed May 12, 2017, for judgment in an appeal filed by a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), governorship aspirant, Mr Samson Ogah, in the Abia state governorship election in 2015.

The apex court fixed the date after hearing submissions from parties in the suit.

Ogah, who contested the primary election with Governor Okezie Ikpeazu on the PDP platform, has asking the apex court to set aside the judgment of the appellate court which upheld the nomination and subsequent election of Governor Ikpeazu.

Abia State: Supreme Court grants Oti leave to appeal Ikpeazu’s victory

The Supreme Court on Friday granted leave to Alex Oti of APGA to be joined as an interested party to challenge the election of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu as governor of Abia.

Justice Clara Ogunbiyi led four other justices to arrive at the unanimous decision.

“The appellant applicant appeal challenging the August 5, 2016 judgment of the lower court has merit.

“The appeal is predicated on grounds of mixed law and facts and therefore, this court is compelled to grant it in the interest of justice.

“In the circumstance, the August 5, 2016 decision of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which refused to grant the applicant the permission to be joined in the pending Abia governorship suit is set aside.

“The prayer of the appellant urging this court consider his appeal against Gov. Ikpeazu Okezie is hereby deemed as filed before this court,’’ she said.

Ms. Ogubiyi also held that granting this leave for the applicant to appeal the decision of the lower court on the matter did not mean that the appeal could succeed.

“The law has established that once an application is challenging a matter on mixed law and facts, justice demands that he or she must be heard,” she said.

Justice Dati Yahaya, who presided over the case at the lower court, held that Mr. Oti failed to establish his interest in the internal affairs of the PDP.

Alex Otti
Alex Otti

The court held that the subject of litigation between Samson Ogah and Okezie Ikpeazu, who were all members of the PDP, was the primary election of the party conducted on December 8, 2014.

The applicant, the court held, being member of APGA had no locus standi to question the primary election of the PDP.

Mr. Yahaya also held that the applicant failed to give circumstantial reasons to sway the court to exercise its judicial discretion in his favour.

Among others, the court held that the applicant failed to transmit the proceedings of the trial court to the Court of Appeal, where his interest was supposed to be established.

According to the judge, Mr. Oti merely relied on affidavit depositions.

The appellate court further held that allowing the applicant to join the dispute would amount to attempt to change the nature of the suit from an intra-party to an inter party tussle.

Mr. Oti had called for his enthronement as governor of Abia, when Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court removed Ikpeazu from office.

Mr. Abang had in the October 29, 2016 judgment made a consequential order returning Mr. Ogah as the governor.

However, the Court of Appeal in Abuja upturned that decision by re-affirming Mr. Ikpeazu’s election.

Kanu Agabi

Kanu Agabi, counsel to the governor, who spoke with journalists after the session, said Mr. Oti had no chance in the ongoing appeals against his client.

He said the decision of the Court of Appeal that re-affirmed Mr. Ikpeazu as governor had foreclosed his chances of making anything out of the suit.

“This tussle is strictly an intra-party matter. Oti is not a member of the PDP, only Ogah is in contention. In any case, the apex court is prepared to hear him,” he said.

Former Abia Governor, Kalu resigns his membership of PPA.

A former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has dumped his party, the Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA.

The businessman said he took the decision after wide consultations with political associates, followers, loyalists and well-wishers.

The party was founded by Kalu in 2006, and produced Chief T. A Orji and Chief Ikedi Ohakim as governors of Abia and Imo states respectively in the 2007 polls.

The decision was made public in a November 14, 2016 letter he personally signed and addressed to the national chairman of the party.

He said in the letter that, “It is with a heavy heart, full of precious memories, profound appreciation and goodwill that I write to inform you of my decision to quit my membership of the PPA.

“As a founding member of the PPA, in 2006 and a former chairman of the BoT, I have been fortunate to have witnessed first hand, the growth of a party that grew out of the yearning of a people to challenge their intuition and their struggle to determine who governs them and how they should be governed.

“I gave to the PPA and that struggle the better part of my political life and the time has come for me to say thank you for the opportunity to have served a worthy cause, and to have been your flag bearer as candidate for the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“I must move on now and as Tennyson reminds us, “Though much has been taken, much still abides and though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are; one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will. To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.

“And so, today, I officially resign my membership. Thank you and may God continue to guide the affairs of the PPA under your reign as national chairman.’’

“Settle Arrears Of Salary Owed”, NLC Tells Abia State Government

Abia State Council of Nigeria Labour Congress [NLC] has tasked the Abia State Government to settle arrears of salary owed to Abia workers without further delay.


In a communiqué raised at its state executive council meeting, in Umuahia, Abia NLC told Governor Okezie Ikpeazu not to use some projects embarked by his administration “as a hindrance to pay workers’ salaries”, lamenting that Abia workers “are currently passing through hard times due to non-payment of salaries”.


In the communiqué which was sent to Governor Ikpeazu through the Head of Service, Labour also called on the government to “as a matter of urgency address the issue of pension arrears owed to pensioners in the State which spans between 5-12 months as the case may be”.


Abia workers also condemned in “strong terms, the non-release of check-off dues as at when due from MDAs”, even as they called on the government to “clear the arrears of gratuity owed to retirees in Abia State spanning over 15 years”.


To avoid the continuation of the ugly fate of retired workers in the State, the communiqué said that Abia workers have adopted the introduction of the Contributory Pension Fund Scheme which they hoped would address the untold hardship of retirees if well managed.


The communiqué which was signed by the State Chairman, Comrade Uchenna Obigwe and the acting Secretary, Comrade John Onaga also frowned at “high taxation of Abia workers which is based on consolidated salary structure, not minding that not all Abia workers are on consolidated salary.”

Sampson Ogah Enroute To Umuahia To Be Sworn In As Abia State Governor

Sampson Ogah, the man who was declared Abia governor by the Federal High Court and issued a certificate of return by INEC on Thursday, has insisted on being sworn in as governor of the state despite an injunction by the Abia State High Court forbidding the exercise.

He also said he was on his way to Umuahia, the Abia State capital, to be sworn in as governor.

Mr. Ogah said through his Media Adviser, Monday Ubani, that the injunction obtained by Mr. Ikpeazu could not invalidate the certificate of return as it came from a subordinate court to the Federal High Court that ordered his swearing in.

He maintained that the State High Court which granted the injunction lacked the locus to do so adding that only an Appeal Court could grant such injunction.

He also said the appeal filed by Mr. Ikpeazu at the Court of Appeal could not be considered a stay over the judgment of Justice Okon Abang.

Mr. Ogah urged the chief judge and all concerned to respect the ruling and allow him to immediately take over the reigns of leadership so as to move the state forward.

The statement reads: “The Federal high court of Abuja presided over by Justice Okon Abang ordered Dr Okezie Ikpeazu to vacate his seat for Dr Uche Ogah OON as the rightful person for the seat. INEC was ordered to issue the said Ogah with a certificate of return which that body has complied with”.

“The next order that was issued by the federal high court was for the Chief Judge of Abia to swear in Dr Uche Ogah, the rightful person to occupy the governor’s seat. That order is yet to be complied with”.

“I understand that a high court in Osisioma Ngwa the axis where the governor hails from has issued an interim order restraining the Chief Judge from swearing in Dr Uche Ogah as the governor of the State. The point must be made that this order cannot stand as it is invalid in law”.

“The order did not emanate from a higher court but from a court of coordinate jurisdiction and does not in any vitiate or invalidate the earlier judgement of the Federal High Court in which the Chief Judge of Abia State was ordered to swear in Dr Uche Sampson Ogah. Only a higher court, in this case Court of Appeal has the jurisdiction to reverse the judgement of the Federal High Court”.

“Note also that appeal of Dr Okezie Ikpeazu before the Court of Appeal does not operate as a stay over the judgement of Justice Okon Abang. In the absence of any express order of the high court or the court of appeal ordering stay of execution, the judgement of the Federal High Court delivered on the 27th of June, 2016 should be obeyed by all the parties.”

Speaking through another aide, Peter Agba Kalu, Mr. Ogah said he was on his way to Umuahia, the Abia State capital for swearing in.

He said, “We are entroute to Umuahia for the swearing in from Imo Airpot.

“We don’t believe there is an injunction like that. The injunction is baseless and against the rules of the judiciary”.

“Is the injunction saying that the Certificate of return issued to Uche Ogah is not legal. Is it saying that Abia should not have a Governor because the Certificate of return nollifies that issued to Ikpeazu”.

“We also have a directive by the CJN that he should be sworn in immediately. So that injunction to the best of our knowledge does not exist and where it exist is null and void because it has already been overtaken by events.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Stop Your Protests, Embrace Dialogue – Abia Government Begs Pro-Biafra Groups

The Abia State Government has called on pro-Biafra groups, the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and the Movement For the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) to discontinue their protest as their message has been well communicated and their voices heard nationally and internationally.


The Government said the pro-Biafra groups have made their statement also calling for the release of the Director of Radio Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.


The government, in a statement signed by Godwin Adindu, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, asked the group to give peace a chance and wait for reaction of the government.
The call by government is sequel to the peaceful protest by the group in Umuahia, the state capital today which was well checked by law enforcement agencies.


It observed that though the protest has been largely peaceful in Abia State without any incident of violence, it actually disturbed the socio-economic life of the state, hence the need for the pro-Biafra groups to change strategy from street marches to peaceful negotiation with the Federal Government.


The government also noted that the entire South East cannot afford another militancy and therefore urged the groups to discontinue their street marches before the situation is hijacked by troublemakers and detractors of government.


Abia government also commended the security agencies for the high professionalism they exhibited in handling the protest in Abia State.
The government further stated that it will continue to guarantee the freedom of association and expression by persons and groups so long as they operate within the ambit of the law and therefore appealed to the pro-Biafra groups not to conduct themselves in a manner that could lead to the breach of peace.


Credit : Daily Post

Ikpeazu awards scholarship to first class law students

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has awarded scholarships to two graduates of Abia State University, Uturu, who made first class at the Nigerian Law School in Lagos.

Announcing this at the university during his formal investiture  as the visitor to the institution in line with the university’s  laws, Governor Ikpeazu expressed delight that out of four first class graduates from the Nigerian Law School, two came from ABSU.

He commended the management of the university for its academic exploits and demanded the exact student population of the institution with a view to slashing their tuition fee.

Ikpeazu also announced that the state scholarship board would be revived in a month time.

He restated his commitment to the development of the education sector in view of its pivotal role in the development of the state.

Abia State APC’s Deputy Gubernatorial Candidate Defects to PDP

Deputy Gubernatorial Candidate for Abia State, Prince Fred Eke Idika defected to PDP with over 20,000 of his loyal supporters within and outside Abia. The defection took place at the PDP Women’s wing Presidential Rally in Umuahia, Abia State capital.

According to Prince Fred Eke Idika, PDP government in Nigeria has done well generally and the transformation agenda of Mr President deserves continuity. Therefore, joining the PDP was the best option for him and his teeming supporters.

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