I remain Abia state governor till Supreme Court says otherwise – Ikpeazu warns INEC
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, who wasrecently sackedby the Court of Appeal sitting in Owerri, Imo State, has said that he has the right to and will remain in office till the Supreme Court gives its ruling on the issue.
The governor has also, through his lawyers, written a letter to notify the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), of his decision to appeal the recent Court of Appeal ruling, questioning the appeal court’s decision to overrule the tribunal which earlier upheld his election.
A portion of the letter read: “Our client is naturally dissatisfied with the judgment of the court of appeal and therefore has instructed us to appeal against same to the Supreme Court. He has an unimpaired and unfettered constitutional right to appeal against the judgment of the court of appeal to the Supreme Court, under and by virtue of section 233(2)(e)(iv) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“Under section 143(2) of the electoral act, 2010 (as amended), our client has the statutory right to remain in office pending the expiration of the period within which an appeal shall be filed, assuming without conceding that he does not even want to lodge an appeal against the decision of the court of appeal.
“Upon filing his notice of appeal, our client is also constitutionally entitled to remain in office until the Supreme Court decides and pronounces on his appeal.”
Ikpeazu further urged INEC, as a party to the pending appeal, “to resist any invitation by anybody or from any quarter to do anything that would work contrary to the clear and express provisions of both the constitution and electoral act in respect of the rest of the appeal particularly, the position of the governor of Abia State,” which he presently occupies.