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Abia: INEC issues certificate of return to Ogah

The Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) on Thursday in Abuja issued Certificate of Returned to Mr Samson Ogah as the elected Governor of Abia, in…

The Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC) on Thursday in Abuja issued Certificate of Returned to Mr Samson Ogah as the elected Governor of Abia, in obedience to an Abuja Federal High Court Order.

The Judge, Justice Okon Abang, gave the order on Monday when he delivered a judgment in a case instituted by Samson Ogah, a governorship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Ogah had accused Ikpeazu of submitting false information in his Tax Clearance Certificate to the party during the governorship primaries in the state.

Abang, in his judgment, ordered INEC to issue a Certificate of Return to Ogah as the duly elected governor of Abia.

He said that the court relied on the Supreme Court decisions in the case of Obi vs INEC and Ameachi vs INEC to make the Consequential Order.

The court further said that Ogah was entitled to the Certificate of Return in the election held in April 2015.

Amb. Lawrence Nwuruku, INEC National Commissioner in charge of South East confirmed to newsmen the issuance of the certificate on the sideline of an INEC National Stakeholders Forum.

Nwuruku said: "The court said with immediate effect, we should issue Ogah a Certificate of Return, and that is what we have done.

“If the court tomorrow issues another order, we will obey the same.

"By the grace of God, I am the INEC commissioner in charge of the South-East. I will do the same thing, if court orders us to issue the same certificate to another person.

"In this case, the court ordered us to issue a certificate to the person who won the election; that is Uchechukwu Ogah. I was the person who issued the Certificate of Return to Governor Ikpeazu because he was declared winner.

"Now, the court is saying otherwise. One thing is that we are not above the law and we cannot refuse to obey the law of the land.
“After the court, another person we obey is God. And my conscience is my God.

"If you were in the court that day and I will urge you, members of the media, to go and study the court decision very well. It was wonderful, it was direct."

Asked if INEC was aware that Ikpeazu had already appealed the said judgment, Nwuruku replied said that the commission obeyed the judgment.

"Our own is to obey the judgment on ground; if by tomorrow the court says give it to another person, then the INEC chairman will obey by signing another Certificate and I will issue it.

"What we have just done is obeying the Nigerian constitution. If l fail, I will be jailed and I don’t want to be jailed," he added.

NAN recalls that the court had on Monday ordered Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia to vacate his office immediately. (NAN)

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