- I would appeal – Gov
In a statement by his chief press secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos, Ikpeazu said he was battle ready to challenge the judgment in the court of appeal.
He said, “The people of Abia should not to panic, but remain calm over the judgment of Justice Okon Abang of delivered in favour of Mr. Uche Ogar against me, in the case of alleged falsification of tax receipts.”
“I have instructed my lawyers to file an appeal immediately against the said judgment. As an appointee of the Abia State Government from 2011 to 2014, when I served as the General Manager, Abia State Passengers Integrated Manifest and Safety Scheme, and first deputy general manager, Abia State Environmental Protection Agency, Aba and Environs respectively, my taxes were deducted at source and I was duly issued my tax receipts for the period in question,” he added.
He insisted that he remains the governor of the state according to law and will await the final determination of the matter by the appellate courts.
Okon Abang, the presiding judge, giving judgment in the suit filed by Ogar, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, ruled that the governor evaded tax prior to his election, and as such was not qualified to hold an elective office.
The judge upheld the argument that Ikpeazu submitted false information to the PDP in the course of the party’s primary election and ordered his removal from office.
“The Independent National Electoral Commission should declare Ogah, the man who placed second at the PDP primary, as the elected candidate,” he said.
At the party’s primary election, Ogah got 103 votes to place a distant second to Ikpeazu, who had 487 votes.
It would be recalled that Ikpeazu’s April 2015 election was previously challenged by the candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance, Alex Otti. He was initially removed by an Appeal Court before the Supreme Court returned him to power.