Court Annulls Abia Governorship Election, Sacks Ikpeazu | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Court Annulls Abia Governorship Election, Sacks Ikpeazu

Posted: Jun 27, 2016 at 3:23 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

The Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has annulled the election of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, the News Agency of Nigeria is reporting.

The court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Samson Ogah, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, who contested the governorship ticket with the governor.

The court held that Mr. Ikpeazu was guilty of tax evasion and was therefore unqualified to have contested the 2015 governorship election in the state.

The court also ordered the governor to vacate office immediately, and hand over to Mr. Ogah, owner of Masters Energy, who came second in the PDP governorship primaries in Abia.

Mr. Ikpeazu is yet to comment on the judgment.

Two members of the PDP had accused Mr. Ikpeazu of failing to pay per­sonal income tax promptly as and when due for 2010 and 2011 in line with Section 24(f) of the 1999 Constitution.

In suit no. FHC/ABJ/ CS/1086/2014, dated Decem­ber 22, 2014, and instituted at the Federal High Court, Abuja, two individuals, Eke and Mba had asked the PDP and INEC to disqualify Mr. Ikpeazu from contesting the governorship election.

The plaintiffs contended that Mr. Ikpeazu was not fit and proper, having failed to pay his personal income tax for two years in line with the pro­visions of the Constitution of Nigeria.

They further asked the court for “A declaration that the 3rd de­fendant, having failed and / or refused to pay his personal income tax promptly as and when due for the years 2010 and 2011 in compliance with the mandatory provisions of Section 24(f) of the CFRN, 1999, as amended, as well as Paragraph 13 of Part IV of the Electoral Guidelines for Primary Elections 2014 is not a fit and proper person to contest the gubernatorial election of Abia State in the 2015 general election, and is accordingly disqualified from contesting the election.”

They also asked for an order barring the PDP from presenting Mr Ikpeazu as candi­date for governor in the 2015 election.

Other reliefs sought by the plaintiffs included an an order barring INEC from accepting the Mr. Ikpeazu as can­didate for the Abia State PDP candidate for the 2015 election.

They also requested a consequential order that the candidate at the PDP primary election of De­cember 8, 2014, who polled the second highest number of votes cast at the said elec­tion should be pronounced the rightful candidate of the party for the governorship election in Abia.