Eastern Unity Forum Demands Immediate Swearing-in of Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah As Governor Of Abia State
The Eastern Unity Forum (EUF) has demanded the immediate enforcement of the order of an Abuja Federal High Court that removed Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu from the office as governor of Abia State, urging the Attorney General of the Federation, Inspector General of police, the Director of the Department of state Services and other security agencies to enforce the court order without further delay and avoid brewing anarchy in the state.
It described the judgment obtained by Ikpeazu as judicial coup, occasioned by impunity which must not be allowed to stand.
The group at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday by its National President, Chief (Dr) Emmanuel Okereke (OON) and the National Secretary, Chief Willy Ezugwu also vowed to mobilize the people to enforce the court judgment if the security agencies failed to do their job.
The text of the briefing reads in full: “we have watched with dismay the current development in Abia State, and wish to add our voice and state in clear terms that we are disappointed with the delay in swearing in Dr Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah as the Governor of Abia State as directed by Abuja Federal High Court.
“It is very clear, even to a lay man that Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu is no longer the Governor of Abia State as his Certificate of Return has been withdrawn by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and a Certificate of Return issued to the Governor-elect, Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah (OON).
“And going by common sense analogy, there can’t be two valid Certificates of Return for one Governorship position for Abia State”, the Forum said.
The body noted that “In the eyes of the Law, Notice of Appeal does not constitute a stay of execution of the order of the court. So, in our mind, INEC has not broken any law by issuing the certificate of return to Ogah. And by the judgment of an Abuja Federal High Court presided over by Justice Okon Abang, Uchechukwu Ogah became the instant governor of Abia State until that order is set aside by a higher court”.
Describing the court verdict obtained by the embattled Abia State governor from the State High Court as a judicial coup, the group said, “So, for Mr. Okezie Ikpeazu to rush to another court of coordinate jurisdiction to arrest the unambiguous judgment delivered by Justice Okon Abang on Monday, June 27, 2016 which ordered that Ogah be sworn in immediately is nothing but a delay tactics and judicial coup that must not be allowed to stand.
“We therefore call on the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Director of Department of State Services (DSS) and all other security agencies and law enforcement organs of the Federal government to wake up and be alive to their constitutional duties and ensure that Dr. Uchechukwu Sampson Ogah is sworn in as Abia State governor without further delay. Anything to the contrary will be institutionalizing impunity in South East of Nigeria.”
According to the group, If the security agencies fail to do the needful, the people will be mobilized to enforce the order of the Abuja Federal High Court.
“If you have been following political events in the South East, the zone is the only part of the country that has remained shortchanged for too long. A case in point before this rape of due process in Abia State is the lack of representation in the Senate from Imo North Senatorial District (Okigwe Zone) due to the lingering inconclusiveness of the re-run election. The same is the case in Anambra Central Senatorial District where the court has ordered for rerun election which has not been conducted several months after the order was given. Now it is the turn of Abia for impunity.
“This must not continue. If the agencies of the Federal Government saddled with the responsibility of enforcing the order of the court fail to do their job, our members across the South East region shall be mobilized to swear in Dr. Uche Ogah.
“To continue to shortchange the South East is a clear call for anarchy in the region. Enough is Enough”, the Forum declared.