*Ikpeazu’s Appeal Notice Has No Stay-of-execution Order
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has confirmed that it received a notice of appeal from the Abia State governor, Okezie Ikpeazu.
The commission, however, said the documents it received did not contain a stay-of-execution order, to stop the issuance of a certificate of return to Sampson Ogah as the next governor of the state.
The electoral body had on Thursday issued a certificate of return to Mr. Ogah as directed by a Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.
Justice Abang Okon had ruled that Mr. Ikpeazu submitted fraudulent tax documents when he filed papers to run for governorship ticket on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Nick Dazang, spokesman for INEC, said Mr. Ikpeazu’s failure to provide a stay-of-execution order left the commission with no choice than to issue the certificate of return to Mr. Ogah.
He said since Mr. Ikpeazu’s notice was not deemed sufficient, it had to, as a matter of policy, execute the judgment of the high court.
“I discovered that INEC received Mr. Ikpeazu’s notice. However, it did not contain a motion or order of stay of execution. In the circumstance, and in deference to the previous court order, INEC as a responsible regulatory (body) has no recourse than to issue Mr. Ogah the certificate of return,” he said.
“By law, a certificate of return is supposed to be issued within one week. Also, the commission has decided as a matter of policy to obey all subsisting court orders. That means if the court were to issue a contradictory order, INEC has no option than to obey.”
For now, the controversy is yet to be over.