People’s Democratic Party’s governorship aspirant in Abia State, Dr. Uche Ogah, has said that his demand to be sworn in as the state Governor following a court order, is not out of desperation.
He said he was validly victorious in court and not “a hurriedly executed legal ambush for the acquisition of political power as being insinuated by some persons.”
“My case is strongly anchored on facts, and the refusal of Ikpeazu to respond to the core issues and his resort to propaganda speaks volumes,” Ogah said at briefing in Lagos on Wednesday, July 6, through his lawyer, Mr Monday Ubani.
The lawyer said Ogah’s interest in becoming the Governor is not because of money but a genuine passion to make sustainable impact in the state.
Ubani said Ogah is an oil magnate, entrepreneur, investor and President of Master Energy Group, a conglomerate with over 15 subsidiaries and interests across a variety of industries with over 40,000 employees.
According to him, the incumbent Governor of the state, Okezie Ikpeazu, was not eligible to participate in the PDP primaries because he failed to pay his taxes as required by the 1999 Constitution, PDP’s Guidelines, and the Electoral Act of 2010, adding that his tax clearance was questionable.
The Tax Clearance form (Code PD002/G), dated November 4, 2014, and sworn to at the High Court Registry, Aba, shows that Ikpeazu’s tax receipt number for December 2011 is 0012849; that of December 2012 is 0012846 and that of December 2013 is 0012847 and 0012848.
“Did he use one booklet to pay tax for three years? Is he the only one paying tax? How come the tax number which ends in 49 came first rather than last?,” Ubani asked.
Ogah, according to his counsel, dragged Ikpeazu to court after the primaries due to the failure of the PDP’s appeal panel to address his complaints about Governor’s alleged non-qualification.
Ubani said when his client filed the suit in 2014, Ikpeazu challenged the court’s jurisdiction. The appeal process got to the Court of Appeal until it was decided by the Supreme Court which ruled that the Federal High Court had jurisdiction to hear the case.
It was learnt that the first judge handling the case, Justice Adeniyi Ademola, after he was accused of being bias and returned the file to the Chief Judge, which was later re-assigned to Justice Okon Abang.
“If Ikpeazu is convinced about the rightness of his cause, he should vacate the seat, plead his case in a court of law and when granted victory come back rather than resort to propaganda,” Ubani said.
He said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did the right thing by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) issuing Ogah with a certificate of return because the court ordered it should be with immediate effect.