NEWS : Supreme Court confirms Abia Governor’s election victory

The Supreme Court has confirmed the election victory of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State.

The decision was reached on Friday, May 12, by two members of a three-man panel of the apex court.

The court also dismissed the petition raised by Uche Ogah, challenging Ikpeazu’s nomination and election.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, according to Channels TV, described the case as a storm in a teacup, which shouldn’t have been entertained in the first case.

He also warned politicians against trying to influence the judiciary, adding that some politicians had attempted to bribe court employees to provide sensitive details of cases.

The struggle for the governorship of Abia state started on June 27, 2016, when the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered Ikpeazu to vacate his office.

Presiding Judge, Justice Okon Abang gave the order after Ikpeazu was alleged to have given false information to his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the governorship primaries in December 2014.

Justice Abang also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Ogah, who came second to Ikpeazu during the primaries.

Ogah had filed the case against Ikpeazu after accusing him of tax evasion, an offence which disqualifies him from holding an elective office.

In obedience to the court order, INEC issued a Certificate of Return to Ogah on June 30.

However, Ikpeazu obtained a restraining order to prevent Ogah from being sworn in, as ordered by the court.

The Court of Appeal subsequently nullified Ikpeazu’s sack in a verdict given on August 18, 2016.

The Supreme Court decision is an affirmation of the Appeal Court’s decision.

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