The court sitting in Abuja on June 27, had
ordered Ikpeazu to vacate his seat for
submitting fake tax clearance for the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) primary election in the
The court therefore declared that Uche Ogah,
who came second at primaries, should be
declared winner instead.
But due to the failure of Ikpeazu to vacate
office, Ogah, whom INEC already issued a
certificate of return, is yet to be officially
sworn in as governor.
Keyamo in a statement on Wednesday, July 13,
said that all of Ikpeazu’s legal moves to
overturn the verdict of the court are “null,
void and of no effect.”
“A thorough scrutiny of the judgment of the
court will reveal that, contrary to widespread
opinion that Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah’s
case was that Dr. Okezie Victor Ikpeazu
presented forged tax papers to the
Independent National Electoral Commission,
his case was simply that Dr. Okezie Victor
Ikpeazu apparently rushed to pay all his
backlog of taxes just before the elections, yet
he swore to a false affidavit and supplied a
false information to the Independent National
Electoral Commission that he paid his taxes AS
AT WHEN DUE. It was based on this false
information that the court nullified his
candidature,” Keyamo said.
He continued: “I have carefully listened to
various arguments regarding the immediate
issuance of a Certificate of Return to Dr.
Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah by the
Independent National Electoral Commission in
strict compliance with the judgment of the
“Contrary to opinions expressed in certain
quarters there is no judicial decision or
statutory provision preventing the
Independent National Electoral Commission
from complying immediately with the Orders
of the Federal High Court.
“The provision of Section 143(1) of the
Electoral Act, Part VIII that gives Dr. Okezie
Victor Ikpeazu (or any other office holder for
that matter) 21 days within which to file an
appeal against an adverse judgment (and to
remain in office until the appeal is
determined) applies only to post-election
matters before election Tribunals or the Court
of Appeal and not pre-election matters as in
this case.
“In the circumstance, the Independent
National Electoral Commission acted legally
and correctly by instantly issuing a Certificate
of Return to Dr. Sampson Uchechukwu Ogah.
“It would have been permissible for Dr.
Okezie Victor Ikpeazu to continue in office as
Governor of Abia State pending the outcome
of the appeal despite the judgment of the
Federal High Court (and the nullification of his
Certificate of Return) if Dr. Sampson
Uchechukwu Ogah had not been issued a
Certificate of return instantly.
“But having been issued a Certificate of
Return, it is constitutionally abnormal and
legally paradoxical that a person with a validly
issued Certificate of Return should not occupy
that office immediately, and the person with
an invalidated Certificate of Return continues
to occupy that office.
“That is why the Interim Order restraining the
Chief Judge of Abia State or any other Judicial
Officer from swearing in Dr. Sampson
Uchechukwu Ogah is a non-sequitor as the
judgment of Abang J has already been
complied with by the Independent National
Electoral Commission.
“The scenario we have now is that of a person,
without any document entitling him to that
office, occupying the office of Governor of
Abia State, whilst a person who has both a
valid court judgment and a valid Certificate of
Return is unable to assume office as Governor
of the state.
“Let the world know today that Dr. Okezie
Victor Ikpeazu is operating illegally as
Governor of Abia State and all his actions,
orders and anything done in that capacity are
null, void and of no effect.”

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However, the Nigeria Governors Forum has
said it is concerned about the current political
impasse in the state, adding that t is taking
steps to ensuring the crisis does not lead to a
total break down of law and order.

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