Don’t Be Desperate To Be Governor, Ikpeazu Tells Ogah | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Don’t Be Desperate To Be Governor, Ikpeazu Tells Ogah

Okezie Ikpeazu, Abia Governor, Pensioners, Court
Posted: Jul 18, 2016 at 4:31 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Temidayo Akinsuyi


Lagos – Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has cautioned his challenger, Uche Ogar, to desist from being in a hurry to become the governor of the state, saying that the haste to enforce the ruling of the Federal High Court without any opportunity for appeal was unheard off and a coup.

Speaking while addressing journalists in Lagos, the governor, who vowed to pursue the case to a logical conclusion also expressed confidence in the ability of the judiciary to do justice on the matter.

Ikpeazu, who said the legal conundrum in Abia is a landmark case that can make or mar the future of the country, added that the illegality in Abia, if allowed to stand, portends grave danger for Nigeria’s democracy and its electoral system.

“The most curious aspect of the matter is the hurry in which my brother Ogar wanted to occupy Government House and take over as governor. Using Gestapo style, he stormed DSS office with people. The Electoral Act says whenever you are sworn in your tenure begins to run.

“That is why we have staggered elections across the country. Why is he in a hurry? So, it was a clear case of coup de tat and it has failed because it has been scuttled since it didn’t happen that day they planned it. The truth is gradually coming out”.

Speaking on his records as a tax paying government official, he said, “For the past 12 years I have worked for the government. In fact, all my life I was a teacher; from teaching I became special adviser, local government chairman and General Manager, Abia State Passengers Integrated Manifest and Safety Scheme (ASPIMSS) and first Deputy General Manager, Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA), Aba and Environs.

“The last job I did was what everybody saw. Domestic waste in Aba is not something you wear suit and do. It is something you do on streets. They saw me on the streets; they knew I was doing these things. So, when somebody said my tax paper was dated on a Saturday, I called the Board of Internal Revenue and they told me that tax year is from 1st January to 31st. If 31st is on a Saturday, or Sunday, even if it is on Christmas day, since it was dated 1st January to 31st, it covers the bill.

“I didn’t stop at that. I went to Chidi Ajaegbu, then ICAN president. He also told me that the tax certificate was without blemish.

“There are several issues that we need to ponder on. The first one is: Did Ikpeazu pay tax as a citizen of this country? The answer is yes. The tax receipt or certificate, were they issued by a valid authority stipulated by the constitution and by law? The answer again, is yes.

“Taking a cue from the first two answers, can an innocent, honest tax-paying citizen suffer or be punished for the ineptitude or carelessness of public servants in the office of the Board of Internal Revenue? Should this punishment be so grievous that this citizen will be stripped of his constitutional right to appeal? Should this innocent tax-paying citizen be so criminalised that his right to appeal is denied and he is now being treated as a common criminal? These are questions I want right thinking Nigerians to ponder on. I believe if this illegality stands, then everybody is vulnerable. We are faced with a landmark scenario that will make or mar this country.

“This thing is a coup both against the constitution and against the Electoral Act. The Electoral Act said you cannot become governor unless you go through all the stages of election. Now, they want to find a way to sabotage it by making somebody governor without going through election”, he said.