Posted by News Express | 18 August 2016 | 8,566 times
Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu has won the first appeal delivered by the Court of Appeal in Abuja against the ruling which removed him from office.
In June, a Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, annulled the election of Ikpeazu.
According to the court, Ikpeazu was guilty of tax evasion and was therefore unqualified to have contested the 2015 governorship election in the state.
It ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission 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 also ordered the governor to vacate office immediately, and hand over to Ogah, who came second in the PDP governorship primaries in Abia.
Following that ruling, Ikpeazu appealed the case.
An Abia State High Court also stopped the Chief Judge of the state or any other judge in the state from inaugurating Samson Uche Ogah as Abia state Governor.
Ikpeazu’s appeal follows the ruling delivered by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja on July 8 in which the judge insisted that he had jurisdiction to hear a motion for stay of execution of his earlier judgments delivered on June 27 even after the appeals against the judgments had been entered.
The Justice Helen Ogunwumiju-led five-man bench collectively agreed in their judgment that Justice Abang wrongly assumed jurisdiction to hear the motion and adjourned it till a later date.
Justice Philomina Ekpe, who read the lead judgment, held that what Justice Abang ought to have done in line with time-honoured doctrine of “stari decisis” was to have passed the motion to the Court of Appeal for determination.
Justice Ekpe also held that the Justice Abang wrongly interpreted the provisions of Order 4(10) and (11) of the Court of Appeal rules when he held that the said provisions were only applicable to an interlocutory ruling of the lower court and when a final judgment in a suit had been delivered.
She also added that Justice Abang lacked jurisdictions to interpret the provisions of the Court of Appeal being the rules of a Superior Court.
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