The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued the Certificate of Return to Mr Uche Ogah as the Governor of Abia State.
INEC’s Director of Publicity, Oluwole Osaze-Uzi, says this follows an order by the Abuja Federal High Court mandating INEC to immediately issue Certificate of Return to Mr. Uche Ogah who came second at the last Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries in Abia State.
A court in Abuja, on Monday asked INEC to cede the Certificate of Return issued to Mr Okezie Ikpeazu, to his opponent.
Giving his ruling, Justice Okon Abang, said that on the account of fake tax returns during the primaries, Dr. Ikpeazu was never qualified to run in the PDP primaries as a governorship candidate.
The judge also ordered the Chief Judge of the state to swear in Uche Ogah, his opponent in the December 2014 governorship primaries in state as the substantive Governor of Abia State.
Following the court ruling ordering the Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu to vacate his office, the governor has insisted that he remains the governor of the state.
Ikpeazu in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos said he will appeal the ruling as he has instructed his lawyers to file an appeal immediately against the said judgment.
According to the statement, from the period the embattled governor was an appointee of the government to when he was appointed governor of the state, his taxes were deducted at source.
“Ikpeazu as an appointee of the Abia State Government from 2011 to 2014 when he served as the General Manager, Abia State Passengers Integrated Manifest and Safety Scheme, ASPIMSS, and first Deputy General Manager, Abia State Environmental Protection Agency, ASEPA, Aba and Environs respectively, before his resignation in October 2014 to contest the Governorship election in the state, that within the period his taxes were deducted at source.
“When he had need of his tax clearance in 2014, he applied to the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue, and was duly issued with his tax receipts for the period in question,” the statement said.
Ikpeazu urged the people of the state to remain law abiding until the final determination of the matter by the appellate courts.