The Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Okezie Ikpeazu as the Abia State Governor, faulting the ruling of the Justice Okon Abang-led
Federal High Court which had nullified his election for tax evasion.
A five-member panel of justices at the Supreme Court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen, gave the ruling on Friday.
The apex court, in its lead verdict prepared by Justice Dattijo Mohammed but read by Justice Ejembi Eko, affirmed the substantial decision of the Court of Appeal on Friday.
The court held that it was detrimental to Ogah’s case that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, guideline around which the suit of the plaintiff was built was not presented before the court.
It also held that Ikpeazu as then a civil servant could hardly be found to have flouted tax payments when his tax deductions were at the source.
The Supreme Court, however, disagreed with the appeal court on one issue, holding that contrary to the lower court’s decision, the suit filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja was rightly commenced by an originating summons.
In his post-judgment comment, the nation’s chief judge disclosed that there was a “security breach” in the course of preparing the judgment.
While calling on politicians to allow the judiciary do its job without interference, he noted that there were attempts by them to use court officials to get to know Justices of the Supreme Court that would prepare the lead judgment and what would be the court’s decision.